This week we are reading John16-20 and Exodus 16.
The moments leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection are chronicled in these passages. As I read these passages I was struck by Christ’s deep love for us as individuals and for people as a whole. Here is why:
He Left to Give Us Something Better
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If do go away, then I will send him to you.” John 16:7 NLT
I think we often miss this section of scripture when we talk about what Christ did in his death and resurrection. Most people will say he died for our sins, and they are correct. However, we miss part of it. We miss the total access we have to God’s presence. The presence of God resided in the temple, but Christ removed the barrier between man and the presence of God that was placed there through our sins. His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension were the process needed to make things right and to provide us an “Advocate.” This is the Holy Spirit. The text goes on to tell how the Spirit will guide us in truth and speak to us the words of the Father. The disciples had Jesus, but he said it would be even better for them to have the Holy Spirit. Better than Jesus-the son of God living, breathing, eating, sleeping, speaking next you ?!?!?!
Come, Holy Spirit, live in me. Speak words of truth from the Father to my heart. Guide me and direct me. You are welcome in my life.
He Prayed for Us
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:20-21 NLT
That is right, Jesus was praying for you. He was about to be betrayed, tortured, and crucified, and he prayed for you. He prayed that you would have unity with other believers and unity with God. Verse 23 says he desires that unity so that, “…the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as love me.” It was Christ’s deep desire for us to live fully in unity with him and with others and that his love for the world would be shown through that unity. He demonstrated his love on the cross, and he prayed for us to be united so that his love would be known to the world.
God, thank you for such a deep love. Thank you for your sacrifice, and I pray that you would help me to die to myself when needed so that I might be in unity with you and with other believers. I want to live my life to fulfill the your purpose– to reveal your love to the world.
He Was Betrayed, Denied, and Crucified
In John 18 and 19, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, and crucified at the request of his own people. He didn’t pout, demand justice, or even defend himself. He simply knew the greater plan, and he did not waiver from it. Sometimes we choose to look at the injustices in life we face and we choose anger and make a scene instead of looking to God to ask how he would have us respond. We often forget that although some moments of life feel unfair, God has the ability to use every experience for his glory. We don’t always know the bigger picture, but we know we serve a God who does. We can trust our lives in his hands.
Help me to live my life as an act of service, and to trust you when everything around me seems out of place. Teach me to life with grace and mercy as I follow after you.
He Overcame the Grave and He Proclaimed Peace
In John 20 the appearances of the resurrected Christ are recorded. He continually said, “Peace be with you.” He was letting them know that he had everything under control. His disciples didn’t have to live in grief or fear. Jesus had overcome the grave and the power of death and sin. He made a way for us to live a life with unity, love, peace, and victory over sin.
Thank you, Jesus, for the victory of the cross. Thank you for making a way for me to live a victorious life in unity and peace. Help me to show others the love you have so freely given.