Tuesday, April 3, 2018

He Chose Us


In the garden of Gethsemane, He could have called on The Father, and He would have provided Jesus with more than 12 legions of angels“Do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and he will provide me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:51)
He chose us.  
He said to His disciples “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me."  (Matthew 26:38).  He went back to check on the disciples and found them all sleeping; 3 times to be exact.  At one point when he found them sleeping, He said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?”  (Mark 14:37).  “He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand." (Mark 14:41-42)
He chose us.
In unimaginable anguish His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.  “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). 
He chose us.
He drank the cup of bitterness, knowing that He didn’t have to.  “And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."  (Mark 14:36)
He chose us.  
With one kiss from one of His closest disciples He was betrayed.  He could have stopped Judas.  He could have defended Himself.  But He knew Judas was about to kiss Him as a sign that He was the one to be crucified.  While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!”  So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”  Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him.” (Matthew 26:46-50)  
I can scarcely begin to comprehend that He still called Him friend knowing the magnitude of what that one act of betrayal would put into motion. 
He chose us.
He could have defended Himself.  He could have been freed with just a few words, but He chose the way of the cross. “The leading priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question. Pilate said, "You can see that these people are accusing you of many things. Why don't you answer?" But Jesus still did not speak.  Pilate was very surprised at this.” (Mark 15:3-5)
He chose us.  
Pilate knew He was innocent, but He kept hearing, “CRUCIFY HIM!”  Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around Him.  They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27:27-31).  
Here is a brief medical description of what he suffered on a physical level.  “Jesus was first stripped of all clothing, then tied to a post with his hands above his head (to stretch the skin making the wounds worse). He was then flogged by one or two people with a whip (or flagellum). This whip (often called a cat-o-nine tails) consisted of a handle (about 18" long) with 9 leather straps about 6 or 7 feet long, and at the end of each strap was small lead balls mixed with pieces of animal bone or metal. These would tear into the body more and more with each successive lashing, with the lead balls ripping into the skin and the jagged pieces of bone or metal tearing it out. As the flogging progressed, muscles, vital organs, and even the spine could often be seen openly. Huge strips of skin would be hanging from the body.” (source of the medical details above are from http://jesusalive.cc/ques209.htm 
He chose us.  
They hammered nails into His hands and feet, beat Him, spat on Him, mocked Him, and pierced His side with a sharp sword as He hung on the cross.  Isiah 53 was fulfilled.  “For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.”  (Isaiah 53:2-9)
He chose us.  
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  (Matthew 27:46).   Even as He cried out to the Father with an overwhelming sense of feeling forsaken and abandoned by Him, He remained on the cross.
He chose us.  
That’s not when it ended.  While it looked like the end, it was the beginning.  He was crucified and died on the cross.  They put Him in the tomb.  And on the third day He rose again!  “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”  (Matthew 28:6)
He chose us.  
And the scriptures were fulfilled.  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)
He chose us.  
He is our Only Savior-THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE-our Salvation.  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6).  
HE CHOSE US.
WILL YOU CHOSE HIM?




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