Read His Words Before Ours!
Judas left the Passover supper suddenly.
Only Jesus knew why, but He didn’t say anything . . . aloud.
In His heart and mind, He cried out,
“Father, I know where I’m going.
In my humanity, I am hurt by the betrayal of one I love.
‘Woe to him for his actions (Mark 14:21), even if they were necessary to extend the offer of redemption to all those We love.”
With the meal ending, Jesus and His disciples began singing before leaving the upper room.
“Praise the LORD, all nations!
Glorify him, all peoples.”
As they finished the first verse, the disciples were unaware of Jesus’ pain, and their town expectations filled their minds. These men, who spent three years with Jesus, believed He was the Messiah. They believed He came to overthrow Roman rule and bring Israel’s freedom.
“Surely we should praise Him because He is the Messiah, our long awaited Savior!”
They’d heard the reading of Isaiah 9:6 in the temple and as they thought through the characteristics listed, they saw ample reason to praise the LORD.
“He has indeed been a wonderful counselor! Look at the way He has taught through His many parables. And I remember the counsel He gave Martha.”
“Mighty God definitely applies to Him. He’s performed incredible miracles, from healing to casting out demons and even resurrecting Lazarus from the dead! Yes, He is mighty and worthy to be praised!”
As Jesus sang, His heart soared with the knowledge His life, sacrificial death, and resurrection would elicit praise for the Father not just from His disciples or even His chosen people, the Jewish nation.
No, the praises would come from all peoples.
Jesus foresaw Paul’s letter to the Roman church, demonstrating how passages from the Tanakh, sacred Jewish scripture, speak of the Gentiles praising Christ (Romans 15:7-12).
As Jesus surveyed His disciples, their heads bowed and voices raised in song, He pondered, “They do not yet realize I am Messiah for all people. They sing words without full understanding. But when revelation comes, they will lead multitudes in praise.”
As the disciples recited promises of the Prince of Peace, on whose shoulders the government would rest, they were filled with expectation.
Yes, they would praise Him as King.
Surely, they believed, such a King would rescue them from Roman rule.
He would take the government on His shoulders and all would bow to Him.
For generations, they’d waited for the Prince of Peace to establish an earthly throne and rule over a glorious Jewish kingdom. Now, they were certain, He was here to accomplish it.
But Jesus came to claim a kingdom much larger than a single nation.
And He came to defeat an enemy much more powerful and deadly than the Romans.
“I have shown my faithful love throughout the ages.
My fulfillment of My Father’s redemptive plan will demonstrate the depth of my love.
My followers think I’m here to rescue them from Rome . . .
But My love runs deeper.
I am here to rescue them from sin and death.
I love them too much to stop at the temporary.”
As they each relished their thoughts, Jesus and the disciples continued on to the second verse of the short, but powerful hymn.
“For His faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!”
As those words lifted to heaven, the disciples recalled Jesus’s statement,
“I and the Father are one”. (John 10:30). And their thoughts swirled.
“If He and the Father are One, was Jesus the flaming torch passing between the divided animals to make the covenant with Father Abraham?
Was it Jesus who kept God’s promise to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, and did so by parting the Red Sea? Was it Jesus who brought our ancestors back from exile in Babylon?
If so, His love has been faithful and surely, it will endure forever.
We must offer our praises for His enduring love!”
Jesus, knowing their thoughts, felt both joy and grief.
His joy stemmed from His faithful love and the deep assurance it would never, ever fail. It would indeed endure forever, through the creation of the new heaven and the new earth, and beyond. His faithful love would hold Him to the cross the next day.
But the thought of the personal cost to Him brought grief. The impendng betrayal by Judas and denial by Peter, and the physical torture were burdens to bear.
Even heavier was the weight of the sin of every single human settling in darkness upon His spirit, and the consequential separation from the Father. This was soul-crushing grief.
“But My love never fails. My faithfulness endures forever.
I will seek the Father, but I know to love this world, I must save it.
This is my great joy, to love this way.”
And for the joy set before Him, Jesus led His disciples to the Garden, yet another part in the greatest love story about the greatest King who is faithful and loving, forever.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!