A Few Breaths Later
Jesus left the glories of His Father and Heaven’s splendors with a mission from God. He must come clothed in flesh and fulfill God’s perfect plan. For thirty-three and a half years, He obeyed every leading of God. He poured into His disciples and others that would carry Salvation’s Message for generations to come. Go with me and look at the end of His mission, which begins to consummate in fulfilling His complete purpose – God’s sacrificial Lamb.
Many lambs had been sacrificed through the Old Testament symbolizing the coming of the Lamb, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death. Each animal was offered in obedience to the Lord’s command. The blood would atone (cover) sins committed by man setting him free from sin, guilt, and condemnation. We see Passover lambs offered as sacrifices in the book of Exodus. Every year, Passover would be observed.
Jesus is 33 years of age, and He and His disciples are celebrating Passover. Wonder how Jesus felt each year knowing that every little lamb that was slaughtered was symbolic of His slaughter for all mankind. He sits around the table; picks up the bread; gives thanks; breaks the bread; and says, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” He took the cup and said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Lk. 22:19&20). Can you imagine how Jesus feels? Besides this, in His next breath, Jesus utters, “The hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.” One of the 12, Judas, had betrayed the Lord. Oh, the pain that must have flooded His heart. Still, a few breaths later, Jesus hears the strife among His disciples arguing which one should be accounted the greatest. …Now, what’s this? A few breaths later, Jesus speaks to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not…” Peter attempts to assure Jesus that he will never deny Him. Jesus responds, “I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me” (v.34). Jesus and His disciples walk to the Mt. of Olives for prayer. Jesus begins to drink the bitter cup of suffering. His sweat is becoming blood.
Can we imagine how Jesus felt even before His ultimate sacrifice? Could these disciples carry out their call to “go to the world and preach?” After three and half years of the disciples being taught and led by the Lord, all of them would soon abandon Him. It is no wonder that Jesus died of a broken heart.
Do you have disappointments on every side? Do you feel abandoned? Jesus endured the cross by looking unto the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2). A few breaths later, Jesus had defeated the devil, paid sin’s debt for all people, and was seated at the right hand of the Father victorious. You, too, can endure to the end by looking unto Jesus, your Joy. “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61:2).