The night Jesus was betrayed, he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Christ died in conjunction with the Passover. That was no coincidence. “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you…” (Exodus 12:13)
In this passage we will hear Peter’s instructions regarding the Christian attitude toward authority – and it is extremely instructive to us. Writing from Rome, and living under the tyranny of a maniac who would later literally crucify him, he tells us to submit.
In Islam, the Quran says a lot of nice things about both Jesus and Mary his mother, but absolutely denies the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Surah 4:156-157). Why would that be? Something about the cross makes the world nervous. From a biblical perspective the cross is, well, crucial. In Romans 5:1-11, Paul gives us ample reason to focus on it and fully understand its meaning.
Complete dependence is a humbling concept – but humility, let’s face it, is a good thing. I’d like to say there are some things I can handle, but readily admit that I need the Lord for the biggies. Christ, however, sees it differently:
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 (NKJV)
If I want my life to be worth something in light of eternity, I need to get this straight. Without Him I can do nothing.
On the other hand, by abiding in Him I tap into the source of the richest blessings. Whatever Christ means by “much fruit” it has to be good. At the end of the day, that’s what I want: fruit that came from my life that He has produced. I can also think of it like this:
What would my life look like if I got out of the way
and let Christ live my life for me?
How would He handle my responsiblities and relationships? No question He would handle them properly. He would do a way better job with them than I have. So be it. Let’s embrace reality and give the Lord full authority to do whatever He wants.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
Today we’ll see Jesus before Pilate, then Herod, then before Pilate again. We’ll see Him led to Golgotha and crucified. We’ll see Him die and be buried.
He endured all of this “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2) – the salvation of our souls. We can now “rejoice in God through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11) “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us…” (1 John 3:16)