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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Jesus the Nazarene

The night before Jesus died, he and his disciples left the upper room where they had celebrated the Passover feast together. Slowly, as they had done many times before, they made their way to the Mount of Olives. The mood (I believe) in this small crowd was electric but solemn. The disciples were sad because Jesus had revealed to them he was leaving them. Jesus was beginning to feel the weight of what was coming on the morrow.

We can only imagine what thoughts occupied the mind of the Nazarene at this time. His mind could have drifted in reflection back over the work of the past three years. In that time, he had demonstrated the heart and mind, and yes the power of God. Yet from the beginning it had been a journey destined to bring him to this moment.

He may have thought of standing on the banks of the Jordan River listening to the thundering voice of the Baptist, John; who under the anointing of the Holy Spirit proclaimed to all who would listen that he had been sent to prepare the way for the one who was coming. He was baptizing them with water, but the one who was coming would baptize with fire.

Jesus stepped into the water with all the broken, wounded seekers of truth, to be baptized by John. He, in so doing, proclaimed to the whole world that for once and all time he was going to take upon himself the sins of the whole world. He identified himself with the lost all around him that day and the Father and the Holy Spirit spoke of their divine approval of his act.

Yet three years later we find him ready to die in the place of every human being who had ever been born. He stopped and (I believe) raised his voice to Father and uttered the most anointed prayer that has ever been recorded. Today I would just like to focus on just one sentence of that prayer.

In this sentence, we see the divine purpose of the Father in sending his son to die for the sins of the entire world. Father knew that man had been corrupted and fundamentally changed on the inside by sin. Sin in the human heart produces lust in all its diverse forms: greed, hatred, and most importantly separated the human race from God.

The next day, the divine sacrifice of Jesus would forevermore break down the wall between God and man. Yet Father had a much higher purpose in mind than just forgiveness of sins. As our text shows, Jesus came to give to the believers in him through every generation - the glory of God - that they might be one with him. A divine union of God and man through the finished work of Jesus on the cross was to take place.

Jesus spoke what was (I believe) uppermost on his mind and heart that night. Father God wanted the power of sin to be broken in the hearts of all believers in him; that we might by grace be lifted into the heavenlies and made a partaker of the glory of God, and thusly made aware that we share a holy union with the Father and Son on the same level that they share with each other.

So, poor hurting soul, wherever you may be found and whatever your circumstance, Jesus has opened to your heart a new divine reality he wishes to share with you. We in Christ have hope for tomorrow because of the divine witness in our hearts of a better world coming, for the meek Nazarene is still speaking. As it is written Christ in you the hope of glory. (Colossians 3:4)

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one." (John 17:22)

Copyright © Michael Plemmons 2012, used with permission.

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