Journey to the Cross- March 29, 2020
Scripture Reading: John 17:20-26
Jesus was a man born to die. Beyond the beauty and sentimentality that we see when he was born in Bethlehem, the shadow of the cross is over his whole life. Jesus not only came to this world to live, but to die the death we deserved because of our sin.
In the Apostle’s Creed we confess we believe Jesus “suffered”. What does this mean?
Take a look at this Q&A from the Heidelberg Catechism:
Lord’s Day 15 :Q & A 37
Q. What do you understand by the word “suffered”?
A. That during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end, Christ sustained in body and soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race.
This he did in order that, by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice, he might deliver us, body and soul, from eternal condemnation, and gain for us
God’s grace, righteusness, and eternal life.
Journey to the Cross: Jesus is Arrested and Denied
Scripture Reading: John 18:1-27
In this season of Lent, we remember the “suffering of Jesus” which he endured his whole life. In our reading from John 18 we see this intensify as he faces his eventual trial and crucifixion.
Who betrays Jesus?
Why do you think he decided to turn against Jesus? How can someone who is supposed to be a “friend” do something so cruel?
Have you ever experienced being betrayed by a friend?
Even as Jesus is betrayed he also shows that he is laser focused on doing what he was sent to this world to do. Peter tries to defend his Lord and does something violent against one of the soldiers who have come to arrest Jesus. However, Jesus will have none of this violence. It’s not for us to take up arms against the so called “enemy”. Jesus says, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” Jesus is speaking in a metaphor – the “Cup” is a reference to the wrath which he must endure for our sake.
So, if we are to put our “Swords of Violence” away, what is the means by which we can still confront the enemy today? (Hint, see Ephesians 6:10-18) What “sword” are we given?
The Gospel of love, grace, and truth will silence the enemy and reveal the Kingdom of God in all the world and in all areas of life.
One disciple betrayed Jesus, another one denied him. Who denies him?
If you think about it, is there any difference between what these two disciples did to Jesus?
In Gospel, Jesus is on a relentless journey that will take him to the cross. As we journey with Jesus it’s important that we know Jesus will be glorified on the cross. What the world sees as a picture of shame, rejection, and failure, Jesus knows it is all for his glory and the glory of God’s Kingdom. In John 17:1 he says, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”
What does it mean to be glorified? We learned the answer when we saw Jesus in his Transfiguration on the mountain. There we heard the voice of God the Father speak of his love and approval of his Son. Ultimately, to be glorified means to have God look upon you with approval and love. Because of his grace given to us in Jesus, God looks upon you in the same way he looks at his Son. Who you are is how God made you to be and you are of infinite value in the eyes of God because of his grace given to you in Jesus. That’s our glory and it is provided to us by Jesus who made the journey to the cross – for us! Amen!