Matthew 17:22-23. Jesus didn’t fear death, because he knew God’s power is victorious over death. He was not afraid to lose his bodily power because he did not rely on his own power for anything. From the beginning his power was in the faithfulness of his Father, so it doesn’t matter whether his body is celebrated or crucified, his sights were set on pleasing the Father. This is the example God has set for us by coming to live with us, even dying (God DIED!) to show us how we must live so that he would be glorified in our lives–giving our lives purpose beyond ourselves. God died to show us that he is greater than death. Life wins over death.
22As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. That’s my hero right there. He’s going to die. He came to die. He doesn’t like the death, but he sets his sights on the victory. His mind is made up. No loss can overcome the greater value of victory over death. To glorify God, Jesus planned to die, and he walked that road, soberly, but with a joyful hope. And the glory that did come from it is very glorious! VERY GLORIOUS!
Jesus’ example here is for us. And it is a way for us to examine our faith.
- If our faith is in ourselves then we will avoid death at all costs. Death is the enemy we can’t defeat. Death is our greatest fear and a god greater than our own prideful god (myself). Death disables us, makes us helpless and out of control. If we have faith in our own power, death is a non option, because death takes away our power and our hope for victory.
- If we are like Jesus and our faith is in God, then death is nothing more than a hurdle. An obstacle on the road, to be dealt with and then move on. It is possible that death is the least of our obstacles because it is our last one, and in jumping over it, we jump straight into the arms of our beloved King. This is what Jesus knew as he spoke with authority and passion saying “they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.“
Yes Father, that is what I want to know. Like Jesus, your son who gave us a perfect example, I want to jump over each hurdle with my eyes focused on the victory beyond it. Faith in Christ’s atonement. Not just closing my eyes and imagining the victory, but opening my eyes and looking deep into the truth you give. Landing my feet down on the rock, salvation by Christ’s righteousness and not my own.
I am not like your Son oh God, I lack faith in the only thing I know to be true. But he has become like me so that I might become like him and so please forgive me of my blindness and make me like him today and forever.
Thank you Lord! Hallelujah. I am poor but you have provided for me. Your my Dad and my rescuer. No one loves me like you and you show me how to love!