Jesus Christ gave His life for us that He may offer His life to us. When we rediscover who Jesus is, we discover that only He is capable of living the Christian life because He is the Christian life. The Christian life is so much more than a set of doctrinal beliefs or creeds.
We call it Good Friday. But, for Jesus in His suffering and death, it would be a very bad day. It was unimaginably horrific! Just three years before Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.”
“It must be true! I read it on the internet!” I hope you’re laughing at such a statement. Surprisingly, much of the fake news posted on the internet is believed today. What’s not believed, somehow, still seems to shape our attitudes and thinking, leading to confusion and conflict.
Did you know Jesus prayed for you in John 17? After His final instructions to His disciples in chapters 13 through 16 and just hours before His betrayal and arrest, we have this record of Jesus’ prayer. It is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus just before He faced the cross.
As you read John 16, it helps to remember that chapters 13 through 17 were the actions and words spoken by Jesus the night before His death. These five chapters were part of a single message of His final instructions to prepare His small group of disciples for what was about to happen, events that would change their lives forever!
John 15 reveals the secret to the victorious Christian life with two pictures of the Christ follower: branches and friends. Jesus reveals both our privileges and our responsibilities. As branches, we have the privilege of sharing His life and the responsibility of remaining in Him.
When your heart is troubled, what do you do? Where do you go? Is it even possible to not let your heart be troubled? Chapters 13-17 of John’s Gospel were all spoken in one evening as Jesus prepared His disciples for the trauma they were about to experience that night when He would later be arrested, put on trial and condemned to death.
In dramatic fashion, Jesus demonstrated what it means to love completely in John 13. Even before His death on the cross, the disciples would experience the full extent of His love. Despite knowing that He would be betrayed by one, denied by another and deserted by all His disciples, John tells us that Jesus loved them to the very end.
In just six days, Jesus would be crucified. It must have seemed unthinkable to those around Him. At the time John writes chapter 12, Jesus’ popularity couldn’t have been any greater! Even His critics were afraid that “the whole world had gone after Him!”
In the eleventh chapter of John, Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus, had become very ill. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent a message to Jesus with the hope that He would come quickly and heal their brother. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that Jesus intentionally waited four days before coming and, by this time, Lazarus had died and was buried.