December 25

Text: Matthew 20:17-19

And as Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up."  (NASB)

Matthew saw a man who fully understood the personal results of his actions and teachings.  He knew how his earthly life would end well before it ended.  Though what awaited Jesus was horrible, his concern was not for himself, but for his disciples.  He was not disillusioned; they would be.  What for the twelve was an impossibility became a reality.

The dread of anticipation can be as powerful as the experience of the pain of the event.  Jesus accurately knew what would happen to him well in advance of the event.  Yet, he was not intimidated.  Circumstances would not deceive him about the certainty of the outcome, but the twelve would be disillusioned.  Events powerfully suggested that there would be no death.  Events deceived.

Despite Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem; his cleansing of the temple; his public discourses; his public defeat of the Pharisees’, Sadducees’, and Herodians’ arguments; and his popularity, Jesus’ enemies won.  What the enemies could not do in the daylight, they did in the darkness.  The result was the same.  Jesus died.

Yet, even in death, Jesus would win.  God’s ancient purposes became reality through Jesus’ death.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you define winning?  (Read 1 Peter 2:21-25.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell