He loved to death
“I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the prince of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.“ – Vs 30-31 NLT
Time was running out. Jesus’ days on this earth were numbered and He knew that His death was fast approaching. So He tried to encourage His disciples. He told them that He was going to prepare a place for them (Vs 3). He reminded them that He was the way to that place (Vs 6). He reassured them that He and the Father were one, and that by knowing and believing in Him, they would know the Father (Vs 10-11). He encouraged them that even though He was leaving, they would do even greater works than He had done (Vs 12), and that whatever they asked God for in Jesus’ name, He would guarantee that they got it (Vs 13-14). He told them that even though He was leaving, He would not leave them alone, but would give them another Helper – the Holy Spirit – who would guide them, teach them, and supernaturally bring to their minds all that Jesus had taught them (Vs 16-17, 26). He reminded them that the best expression of their love for Him was to obey all that He had said and taught them (Vs 21, 23). Then to calm their fears and to give them confidence to face what was coming, He assured them that He was going to give them His peace – in the form of the Holy Spirit (Vs 27).
But one of the most fascinating things Jesus said to the disciples was His statement regarding the coming of the enemy. Jesus said, “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the prince of this world approaches. He has no power over me” (Vs 30). The Message paraphrases verse 30 this way, “I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry – he has nothing on me, no claim on me.” Jesus was letting them know that He was about to be betrayed into the hands of enemies and Satan was behind the whole thing. But He was also letting them know that what was about to happen was all under HIS control not Satans. What Jesus was about to do, He was doing willingly! And not only that, He was doing it as an expression of His love to His Father! Look at what He said earlier in the book of John:
The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again. No one can take my life from me. I lay down my life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it again. For my Father has given me this command.” – John 10:17-18 NLT
Satan was not in control of the situation, Jesus was. Satan was not taking Jesus’ life. Jesus was willingly laying His life on the line in obedience to the command of His Father. And in doing so, it was the greatest expression of His love for His Father. Jesus’ death was a demonstration or proof of His love for the Father. And it was a demonstration or proof of the Father’s love for us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NASB).
Jesus literally loved His Father to death. Paul tells us, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8 NASB). Jesus loved His Father enough to obey Him – even though it meant giving His life and dying a criminal’s death on a cross. He did what His Father commanded Him to do. That makes what Jesus says in verses 21 and 23 that much more impactful. “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them … All those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them.” Jesus could say this because He was about to do it. He modeled it. His greatest expression of love for His Father was to obey His Father’s command to sacrifice His own life on our behalf. So what makes me think that I can say that I love Jesus but can refuse to obey what He has commanded me to do? Obedience to His commands is the greatest expression of my love for Him. Am I willing to love Him to death?
Father, You showed Your love for me by sending Your Son to die in my place. And Jesus showed His love for You by doing just that. He obeyed, even though it cost Him His life and separated Him from You for the first time in all eternity. But that demonstration of His love for You made salvation possible for me. And allowed me to enjoy Your love for me. Thank You both. Now may I learn to obey You more – even if it costs me everything! Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men