Reading Through the Bible, Sunday, November 6. John 18 – 21

    Who was responsible for Jesus’ death?

    Surely the Jews of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day bear responsibility.  Pilate bears responsibility.  WE bear responsibility because were it not for our sins, Jesus would not have had to die!

    But what the book of John makes clear is that God Himself is responsible.  Throughout the book, Jesus has aggravated his enemies, confronted them with the stark blackness of their own hearts, and provoked them with his condemnation.  As you read what Jesus says to them, you have to wonder why it took them so long.

    It was the will of God for Jesus to die.  The Lord puts it like this: ““The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. . . .  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

    And when the hour came, Jesus was ready.  Leon Morris captures the scene with these words: “The soldiers had come out with their torches as well as their weapons to arrest a peasant who they were sure would be skulking away in some dark corner in the attempt to avoid certain arrest.  Instead, they are confronted by a commanding figure who boldly advances to meet them and who inquires what their business is.”

    So why did God do it like this?

    There was no other way, and God was determined to save us.  You hear that determination in Jesus’ voice every time he addresses his enemies.  I wonder if we are equally determined to be saved?