There are times when one must take action before one takes action.
John 18:12-14 – Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
What I share with you today speaks to a willingness of heart to serve that is so great that the natural mind cannot conceive of it. Allow me to ask some questions. Have you read John 3:16? I’m sure you have. Why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did Jesus die? Why did Jesus suffer? If you have read John 3:16, then you know the answer to all the other questions I have posed. LOVE! It’s that simple. But let’s examine that love motive more deeply in the light of His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. He had prayed that Father’s will should take precedent over His own. He had labored so intensely in that prayer that He sweat had become as drops of blood, the capillaries of His skin rupturing under the tremendous emotional pressure of the moment, and the blood literally oozing through the skin, mingling with the sweat from the body and the dust of the earth in which He lay, having fallen on His face on the ground to pray. I submit to you that such an indomitable will as His did NOT need to bound to go to the cross, yet they bound Him. Being fully yielded to Father, they bound Him. Being fully compliant with their commands, even have willingly identified Himself, knowing His end, they bound Him. They were doing all they could to make a show of Him.
But this was not new. Centuries before, a man named Samson had gone to the rock of Etam, the place of the hawk, to be alone after a great victory over the Philistines. It was there that 3,000 men of Judah came to “arrest” him and deliver him to his greatest enemy, the Philistines. Samson required one thing of them, and that was that the men of Judah would not “fall on” him themselves. They agreed, and though He went with them willingly, the men of Judah bound him to deliver him into the hands of the Philistines. But something happened upon which no one but God and Samson were depending. Samson found a jawbone, 1,000 Philistines were slain, and a fountain was opened up for Samson’s refreshing. That sounds familiar. Indeed. Something happened after Jesus’ arrest, torture, crucifixion, and burial that in truth, only Jesus and Father was depending. Jesus was raised from the dead, defeated all the hordes of Satan’s domain, and through Jesus there was a fountain opened for you and me; the fountain of His precious blood so that we no longer have to suffer under sin’s penalty, but may live fully in the covenant life of Jesus Christ. Now we are bound in His love.
Manna for Today – John 18:12-14; Matthew 16:13-20; Matthew 18:18; Judges 13-16