Weekly Devotional - Feb 9, 2017

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” (John 14:30-31) Scripture Reading – Hebrews 4:14-5:10

Have you ever had a task to do that you didn’t want to do? At times like this, we find so many excuses to avoid fulfilling our obligation. As Jesus faced His imminent death on the cross, He didn’t delay for a moment; He continually moved forward with the Father’s plan. Jesus was not teaching His disciples in the Upper Room as an excuse to delay this event. Instead, Jesus was explaining it to them so that, when it occurred, they would know for certain that this was God’s plan and not the Devil’s scheme. Now, the moment was at hand, the time for talking had ended. The time for the long-awaited sacrifice to be given for our atonement had arrived. Jesus certainly was different from other religious teachers. He was not interested in giving speeches of many words. His interest was only in obeying the Father, who willed for Jesus to die on the cross.

Jesus wants us to know clearly that His death was not a victory for the Devil. The “ruler of this world” tried to prevent Jesus from going to the cross. He tempted Jesus in the wilderness by offering all the kingdoms of the world to Him, if only Jesus would bow down and worship him. But Jesus refused. Satan also stirred up the hearts of the religious leaders on several occasions so that they would stone Jesus to death, but this wasn’t God’s plan. At the appointed time, Jesus was to die on the cross as a sacrifice for sins. Satan couldn’t keep Jesus from fulfilling God’s plan of salvation, no matter how hard he tried.

Jesus says that the Devil “has no claim over me.” Satan is the Accuser; He accuses us before God so that we will die and be punished. He has many claims over us, because he knows our sins. But Satan has no claim on Jesus, because He is different. Jesus lived a sinless life, which means Satan has nothing he can use to accuse Jesus before the Father (Heb.4:15). That’s why Jesus could be the perfect, unblemished Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. He didn’t die for His own sin, but for the sin of all who believe in Him.

Jesus wants us to understand that Satan’s power is limited. Jesus’ death on the cross proves that Satan is under the control of God. In other words, Satan couldn’t stop the Son from fulfilling the Father’s plan. Christ’s death on the cross was not an act of subjugation, but a declaration to the world that the Father is on the throne in heaven. Even Satan was being used to fulfill God’s plan by inciting the people to hand Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified. The cross is Jesus’ testimony of His great love for the Father. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father declared His love for the Son, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Now the Son declares His love for the Father by obeying the Father, even to the extent of dying on the cross (Isa. 53:10; Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus then asked His disciples to accompany Him. They left the dinner table, went through the dark streets of Jerusalem, and out of the city to the Garden of Gethsemane. The time approaching for the Son to be arrested and handed over for crucifixion. Jesus readily embraced this moment which would bring glory to the Father. Are you fully embracing God’s calling on your life?

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