“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
While Jesus made his way throughout Galilee and Judea, he was always in charge. He was the one determining the next city in the line-up, who would be healed, or how the miraculous would unfold. He guided the disciples, infuriated the Pharisees, and amazed the crowds with his distinct authority and power. Through all four gospels we are left with the clear impression that nobody dictated to Christ.
But when his “hour” came ((Mark 14:41), it seemed that everything changed. Now Jesus was bullied, beaten, and falsely accused by a horde of vicious enemies. Judas planted a treacherous kiss, guards hauled him away, and the disciples stopped following their Master. Phony witnesses told lies, and the Council condemned Jesus to death, smeared him with spit, struck his face. The mob demanded crucifixion, Pilate demanded scourging, and the soldiers demanded he struggle up to Golgotha with a crossbeam strapped to his back (see Mark 14-15).
And Jesus allowed it. He took it all. In choosing not to defend himself or deny the accusations, the Lamb of God kept silent: “like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth” (Acts 8:32). “When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer” (Matthew 27:12). No answer from the one who was, and is, and always will be the answer to mankind’s central question: “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).
Christ is the Advocate for others, but “justice was denied him” (Acts 8:33). Jesus is the “true vine” (John 15:1) who, when offered the “wine mixed with myrrh,” refused it (Mark 15:23). The friend of sinners ignored the ones who sneered, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross!” (Mark 15:30) Our great high priest chose to disregard the words the chief priests and scribes flung at him, “He saved others; he cannot save himself” (Mark 15:31). In doing this, he made the way for us to “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Jesus the Christ. Supremely in charge. Conquering sin, breaking down the door of death, and welcoming sinners to receive life. When the Son “finished” the task his Father had assigned, he chose what happened next – “he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30) – and fulfilled his call as Savior of the World.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Photo Credit: Bill Mitchell