Kia Ora Cambridge Baptist and friends,
As I read the paper this morning I was surprised to read that the UK PM is now in intensive care with the virus. It just brings home even those who are in control are not immune either.
During crisis times it’s easy to feel a lack of control and a sense of helplessness, when everything around you is in a state of flux and the future is uncertain. But as we head towards Easter one thing stands out for me as Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem, and people were plotting to take his left life, he remained firmly in control and carried out his father’s will.
Before we delve deeper in Redeemer's devotion for today, let's read passage from Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25:
When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
So if Jesus remained firmly in control, what evidence do we see for this. In this passage we see He predicted his arrest and crucifixion before the religious leaders met to conspire against him. He knew that Judas, one of his trusted apostles, would be the on to betray him. How disturbing that must have been to Judas to know that Jesus could see right through his charade.
Though humans have their plots and schemes, it is God’s plan that always prevails. Nothing can interfere with what he has purposed to do. And nothing was more central to God’s eternal plan than that Jesus, the Son of Man, would be delivered up to be crucified. The timing of his last meal at Passover was not coincidental, but symbolically pointed to the purpose for Jesus’ death. For those who aren’t familiar with the Passover it was an annual celebration of Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt. Jesus’ death was to serve as the new Passover. Those who would put their trust in him experience the ultimate Exodus — deliverance from the slavery of sin. As a result, they enjoy the privilege of living in the freedom of his love forevermore.
So as we struggle through this crisis, when life seems out of our control , we can take great comfort in remembering Jesus’ own experience at the end of his life. Though humans plotted against him and succeeded in executing their plan, nevertheless they could not thwart the plan of God. What comfort there is in knowing that nothing can interfere with the plan of him who is in control! He is at work in all things to bring about his good purposes. By looking to Jesus, particularly his death for us, we discover what is central to God’s plan for us: through Jesus’ death we find life, through his blood shed for us, we experience the exodus from enslaving sin and the freedom of living in his love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being in control of our lives, especially when we feel desperately out of control. Center us in the one who is central to your plan for the ages. Enable us, Holy Spirit, to trust in Christ that we might experience the true Exodus. And having experienced the forgiveness of sin, may we live daily in the freedom of your love, wholeheartedly devoted to you.
In Jesus Name, Amen.