As Christmas approaches, I hear again; "Jesus is the reason for the season", and I'm reminded of His ultimate purpose.
Matthew 26 (NIV)
The Plot Against Jesus
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
2 "As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
4 and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.
5 "But not during the Feast," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people."
When Jesus had finished saying all these things. Things like;
25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Jesus knew the timing of his betrayal and crucifixion. The chief priests did not determine the timing.
We watched The Passion last night. We were suprised how long it had been since we watched it last. Somehow, I was afraid to watch again - like it would be too painful.
This was our third time. The first time, in the theater - I was deeply affected. Afterwards, I couldn't speak. The second time, at home - it was still hard to watch, and to keep from crying. Last night, we prayed before watching. I know that the movie is only an interpretation of the events. Somehow, even though it was hard to watch - I didn't cry. God has let me know that it's ok to accept His grace. I saw again the punishment I deserve, being paid for by Jesus. Tears, no. Not this time. A deep thankfulness, yes. Always.
Jesus knew what was coming. He knew how hard it would be. He told his disciples - it's going to happen!
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests
15 and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.
16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Judas watched for an opportunity. Again, the timing was not up to Judas.