John chapter 17

Sacrificed for our sanctification

“And I give myself entirely to you so they also might be entirely yours. – Vs 19 NLT

This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible because it is a prayer of Jesus that He prayed on our behalf. It is just hours before is arrest, trials, and crucifixion, yet He stops to talk to His Father and lift up His disciples and all those who would believe in Him because of their words. That includes me and you. He prays that we would know the Father and Himself as the sent one, the crucified sacrificial Lamb of God. In fact, that is Jesus’ definition of what it means to be saved. This is not just an intellectual knowledge, but an intimate, personal knowledge that should grow over time. The word Jesus used was actually a Jewish idiom referring to sexual intimacy between a man and a woman. Jesus is asking that we might experience eternal life which is a close, intimate, personal knowledge of God and His Son. And that knowledge will grow deeper over time. Jesus also asked the Father to protect us from the enemy during our time here on earth. He didn’t ask God to take us out of the world, but to leave us here, even though, as His followers, we are no longer a part of this world. He left us here to carry on His mission. He was actually sending us out into the world (Vs 18). Because of that, He asks the Father to set them apart in the truth of His word. We, like the disciples, have heard the truth. In fact, Jesus prayed, “I have passed on to them the words you gave me; and they accepted them and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me” (Vs 8 NLT). Jesus had told them the truth about who He was, where He had come from, what was going to happen to Him, and where He was going. He had told them the truth about the Holy Spirit to come and the role they were to play after He was gone. Everything God had said regarding Jesus in His word, which at that time was the Old Testament, had been and would be proven true in Jesus. So He asks that the Father would dedicate them for service according to that truth. And that applies to us as well.

But everything that Jesus asked the Father to do would only be possible if Jesus did what He came to do. And that is what verse 19 talks about. Jesus tells His Father that He is setting Himself apart or dedicating Himself for the sake of His followers. Like a lamb that is dedicated or set apart for sacrifice, Jesus is consecrating Himself for death on the cross. He is willingly putting His life on the line so that we might have eternal life. Jesus didn’t just ask the Father to do all these things for us at no cost to Himself. He laid it all on the line. He sacrificed Himself on our behalf. Listen to what He says: “I give myself entirely to you so they also might be entirely yours” (Vs 19). Everything Jesus prayed was possible ONLY if Jesus accomplished what He was sent to do. His death was the key. And He did it for our sake – on our behalf. Why? So that we might be truly sanctified. His death made possible our dedication. His sacrifice made possible our sanctification. What Jesus did on the cross is what sets us apart. His death is what gave us life. He paid the debt we owed so that we might be reconciled or restored to a right relationship with God. We are now set apart and dedicated to Him. We have been bought at a high price. Paul tells us just that in 1 Corinthians 6:20: “For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). He reminds us later in the same letter: “God purchased you at a high price. Don’t be enslaved by the world” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NLT). Jesus set Himself apart for death so that we might be set apart to God. To honor God with our bodies and to never again allow ourselves to go back into slavery to the world. We are no longer of this world (Vs 14). Instead, we have been sent by Christ into the world to carry on His work (Vs 18). We have been set apart and dedicated for that purpose. And He payed for it with His life.

Father, You sent your Son to die on my behalf. He dedicated Himself for that purpose. And because He did, I am set apart and dedicated to You. He bought Me our of slavery to sin and dedicated me to You. I am no longer mine. I belong to You. May I live like it. Forgive me for failing to glorify You in my body like I should. I tend to want to glorify me. Forgive me for allowing myself to fall back into slavery to this world. I allow it to capture me with its pleasures and false promises. But I am no longer of this world. I have been sent into it as an ambassador or representative of Christ. Show me how to live out that reality every day. I belong to You. May I live like it every day of my life.  Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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