Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Jesus’ departure would reveal to all that he loved the Father (14:31)

but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

We are not surprised that Jesus desired to be in heaven in the presence of the Father. Yet it should be a sense of wonder to us that he was willing to take the route that was mapped out for him by the Father. The road to heaven for Jesus involved more than defeating the evil one. It also included giving full obedience to the commandment that the Father had given him.

The commandment that the Father had given to his Son required that he pay the penalty for sin. It necessitated that he go to the place of punishment and endure God’s wrath against sin. One aspect of its wonder is that he endured this wrath simultaneously to his defeating the devil. Jesus did not experience these things sequentially as if he first defeated the devil and then endured divine wrath against sin. As he paid the penalty, he also overcame the enemy.

What can we say about the love that Jesus had for the Father? First, it was a love that delighted in the will of the Father. This will had been made known in the eternal counsels, and it had been eternally embraced by the Son. The plan of redemption was the height of divine wisdom in which the Trinity revealed the greatness of their conceptions. It was the means by which divine grace and blessing would be displayed, by which mercy and forgiveness would be given. ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work’ (John 4:34).

Second, it was a love that was devoted to the will of the Father. Humanly speaking, the Son had had plenty time before his incarnation to reflect on the saving plan of God that required such a costly sacrifice from his Son. But his devotion to the will of the Father did not diminish throughout these eternal ages. When the moment came for entering into humanity, he came singing the words of Psalm 40: 6-8: ‘Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear.  Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”’

Third, it was a love that was dedicated to fulfil the Father’s will after the Incarnation. Several times Jesus, as it were, re-dedicated himself to lovingly carrying out the Father’s plan. An obvious example is his baptism where he publicly committed himself to obeying God’s will. Another example occurred shortly after this announcement in John 14 when he resolved in Gethsemane to continue with the task given to him.  It is likely that the Saviour made this determined resolution on many occasions. At one time, he declared, ‘But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!’ (Luke 12:50). At the end of John 14, Jesus again dedicates himself to obeying the Father’s will in all its requirements.

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