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John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Titus 2:14 – Jesus gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Some people may think Jesus was slain against His will, but consider the evidence that Jesus died voluntarily so He could save us.
Matthew 16:21 – Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Jesus made other similar predictions, so He knew He would be killed. Yet He proceeded to do the very things that He knew would lead to His crucifixion.
(Matthew 17:22, 23; 20:17–19, 28; 26:2)
Matthew 20:17,18 – Jesus told the apostles, “ We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify.”
So Jesus chose to go to Jerusalem, even knowing that He would be crucified there.
John 13:21 –Jesus predicted that one of the disciples would betray Him. Other accounts show He knew Judas would be the guilty one.
Yet He still proceeded to go to the very place where He knew the betrayal would occur.
Matthew 26:39 – In Gethsemane He prayed: “ O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
His human nature would have preferred avoiding the agony He knew was before Him, nevertheless He was determined to do what the Father willed.
Matthew 26:52,53 – When Peter tried to defend Him, Jesus said: “D o you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”
Jesus had the power available to prevent His death, had He chosen to do so. But instead He proceeded to go to the cross.
John 10:17,18 – “…I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
Jesus’ death was not an unexpected change in God’s plan. He was not compelled to die against His will. He knew all along what would happen, yet He deliberately proceeded into the very circumstances that He knew would lead to His death.
Jesus died on the cross for you and me, and it is this that we remember in the Lord’s Supper.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2021; www.gospelway.com
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.