It is incredibly disappointing to know that so many people are either ignorant or have been taught incorrectly about the death of Jesus. Believe it or not, you might even encounter some who claim that Jesus did not realize why He came to Earth. Let me state, before I go any further, that Jesus knew exactly why He came to Earth. To believe otherwise is to believe a falsehood.
Take for example the following declaration that Jesus made: “…The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day” (Mark 9:31). How can any reasonable person read such a plain statement and still claim that Jesus had no knowledge of why He was here?
Likewise, our Lord told His apostles “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again” (Mark 10:33-34). Again, without meaning to be rude, how can someone read those words and still support the falsehood that Jesus was ignorant of His mission?
Now, with all of that being given, I want to change the direction of this article. It should impress and humble each of us that Jesus knew what would happen to Him, and yet He still came anyway! Friend, if you ever feel that no one cares about you, or that you are not loved, just reflect upon what Jesus did. He did not come to Earth to reward us for having been so good. On the contrary, Jesus came “…to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Mankind had a problem, sin (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). The only way that man could have any spiritual hope is that a sinless man would have to pay the penalty for sinful man. That is what Jesus did for all of us.
How many of us would be willing to do the same under such circumstances? Paul indicated, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8). Remember though, that Jesus knew He would have to endure terrible treatment to accomplish such. He knew about the mockery that would take place, and He did it anyway! He knew of the scourging that He would endure, and He did it anyway! He knew about the spitting, and He did it anyway! He knew that He would be killed on the cross, and yes friend, He did it anyway! John was correct when He wrote, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10).
Before His death, Jesus explained, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Truly there is no greater friend to mankind than Jesus. To know what His own creation would do to Him, and yet still go through with it, truly demonstrates love!
What can we possibly do to show our appreciation and thankfulness? When addressing His apostles Jesus also said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). Similarly, Jesus stated, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we truly are grateful for all that Jesus did, then we will show it by obeying His Word. We will turn our lives over to Him, and readily serve and sacrifice for Him. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). After all, that is not too much for us to do when we realize and appreciate all that He has done for us!
~ Corey Barnette