Thursday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 26:50-56; Mark 14:46-52; Luke 22:49-53; John 18:9-11

Because the Scriptures Must Be Fulfilled

He had sat in the temple day after day teaching a hungry people about the Kingdom of God.  He had walked among the crowds in broad daylight right in front of the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and anyone else who wanted to see him.  No one ever laid a hand on him.  But now, at night, with no one else around but his disciples, now, they make their move.  What’s more, they come out with clubs, swords, and torches.  When did they ever see Jesus “packin’ heat?”  “But,” said Jesus, “this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

When Judas left Jesus and the rest of the disciples in the upper room to betray his Master, the Scripture tells us, “And it was night” (John 13:30).  Night, darkness – you can feel it.  The disciples are ready to fight, but Jesus won’t let them.  Why won’t Jesus let them?  Because he doesn’t want to shed the blood of these men?  Well, he did heal the servant of the high priest whose ear Peter severed.  Is it because he is too respectful of authority to resist arrest?  Is he worried about what might happen to his disciples?  Jesus mentions none of these as the reason he allows himself to be taken.  Indeed, he tells his disciples, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”  Jesus needed no help from men; he never did.  Jesus tells us plainly why he did not resist: “How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”  And, “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Everything had been prophesied centuries before, and each gospel relates which prophecies were fulfilled in their accounts.  God spoke by the mouths of these men long ago to give the people hope for the day when this wonderful Messiah and King would appear.  But Isaiah 53 also made it clear that before glory comes the passion.  And why the passion?  Because that was God’s plan, going all the way back to the Garden when he told the serpent, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). It really goes back before that, for “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Ephesians 1:4).  And the only way the Father chooses is through the blood His Son, Jesus Christ.  We cannot say why God chose to do things this way.  But what we can say is that this way shows the incredible love of God.  Jesus must go to the cross and will go to the cross–for us, angels notwithstanding.  And so darkness comes, that day may soon follow.  That’s God’s way.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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