At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. — Matthew 26:55-56
I mentioned on Tuesday that I planned to read the crucifixion and resurrection stories in each of the Gospels this week. In reading Matthew 26, I was struck by the inevitability of it all. No matter how much the disciples refused to accept that Christ would soon die, they couldn’t change the course God had set in place.
Jesus was the only one who accepted what Scripture had long foretold. He didn’t resist or fight. He simply knew what had to be done. He walked through his last three years as a man on a mission, quiet in strength and passionate about those who were lost. And the stakes were incredibly high. The salvation of every human being—past, present and future.
I don’t mean to humanize him so much, but at times, that’s the Jesus I can relate to best. The one who felt the pain of each person he met, the one who cried over Lazarus, the one who suffered unbearable torture and crucifixion so that I can meet him one day.
And he even prayed for us before he faced his death:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” — John 17:20-21
Jesus was a man of devotion, loyalty, steadfastness, and dedication. He was and is a God of love with a plan to save his children. He let nothing deter him from his mission then, and he still pursues us now, intent that none be lost. All that is good and perfect and true is He, and all that is noble and pure and faithful is his character.
He is our greatest example of steadfastness in the midst of inevitability. He is the ultimate representation of perseverance in the midst of suffering. He is the quintessential exemplification of obedience.
He is our Great Messiah.