Jesus is on His passionate journey toward the Cross. Every step on this journey is a step of love.
After Jesus finished His last supper with His disciples, they all went to one of their favorite places to pray—the Garden of Gethsemane. It was a place they all knew well. Including Judas, who had been looking for an opportunity to turn Jesus over to the religious authorities when He was out of the public eye.
Jesus knew this time was coming (Matthew 10:33-34; John 13:1, 3; 18:4), and His knowing prompted His serving. So we can say that His foot-washing service was as much a reminder to Himself as it was to His followers.
After they entered the garden to pray, events began to unfold at a fast pace, ultimately culminating in Jesus being crucified.
But let us never forget that through all of this horrific, inhumane mistreatment and torture, Jesus remains the King of kings, the Son of God. In fact, very God Himself.
The Jewish religious leaders knew this too (John 8:54-59; 10:31-33). And without “knowing it” the soldiers that came to arrest Jesus knew it as well.
Just look at the absolute authority of the King of kings. Grown men—religious leaders and hardened soldiers—fall to their knees at just three words: “I am He.”
Christ’s kingdom has overruling authority. It collects no taxes, it has no standing army, it requires no checks-and-balances because its Sovereign IS Truth and Love. This unequaled, unrivaled power was contained in Jesus—“You would have no authority over Me unless it was given you from above.”
Which makes His submission to Pilate and others even more amazing! One word from Him could have crushed legions and toppled governments—yet for love’s sake, He submitted. Let that sink in—Sovereignty submitted.
What appeared to be the cruelty of man was the sovereignty of God.
No one can take My life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded. (John 10:18)
“Christ’s death was not the death of a martyr, who sinks at last overwhelmed by enemies, but the death of a triumphant conqueror, who knows that even in dying He wins for Himself and His people a kingdom and a crown of glory.” —J.C. Ryle
Christ has bought us out from under the doom of that impossible system by taking the curse for our wrongdoing upon Himself. For it is written in the Scripture, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is cursed” (as Jesus was hung upon a wooden cross). (Galatians 3:13 TLB)
Sovereign love submitted to the cruelty of man SO THAT you and I could be saved from the inescapable doom that will inevitably crash down on us. Jesus loved us so much that He allowed the Cross to happen to Him.
The question now remains—what are you doing with this sovereign love?
Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you received this gift He willingly, lovingly purchased for you on the Cross?
If you have, let me ask you another question: Christian, are you living in a way that leads others to this sovereign love too (John 13:34-35)?
Anytime you see the Cross, remember what sovereign love did there for you.