God’s Definite Plan
When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Matthew 26:1-2
The events of Holy Week should not have come as a surprise to those closest to our Lord. He spoke plainly about His death and the fact that on the third day that He would be raised from the dead. At His first speaking of those words, Peter took Him aside and protested only to hear the stern rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23) Soon after the Transfiguration, He spoke of these events again and Matthew notes, “they were greatly distressed.” (17:22-23) Then He specifically spoke of being “mocked and flogged and crucified and…be raised on the third day” (20:19) just before the triumphal entry. Then before the Passover, He again tells them what is going to take place, “the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
Jesus’ words of prophesy regarding His Passion should come as a great source of comfort to the people of God in knowing that all things happened according to God’s divine plan. Like the words of promise from the prophets of old, Jesus’s words remind us that the eternal plan of the Father was for His beloved Son to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of the people and then to rise again from the grave to open paradise for all who believe.
During the days of Holy Week, as you hear the Passion account read and as you join your voice to the great hymns of the faith, may you be assured of the foreknowledge of God as He assured Adam and Eve that one of their own descendants would crush the serpent’s head. May you find peace in knowing that God’s plan for His Son was revealed in the Songs of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. May you be encouraged that even as you labor in this veil of tears that our Lord Jesus Christ came for the purpose of being crucified in our place.
Peter did not understand it when Jesus first told him what was going to happen. Nor did he understand it the second, third or even fourth time. Once Jesus rose again from the grave though, Peter finally got it. At Pentecost, He stood before the crowd and proclaimed, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Acts 2:22-24) May God bless our Holy Week as we reflect on God’s definite plan!
Prayer – Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan