What a heavy passage. This is the fourth time I’ve had to write about Jesus’ death. I think John’s account is the saddest to me, because John wrote as an eyewitness. He was the only disciple – that we know for certain – who was there, watching as Jesus died.
John’s description of Jesus’ mother standing by her son’s cross – it’s just heartbreaking. And Jesus’ care for his mother as he entrusts her to John is heart-wrenching.
John sprinkles evidence throughout his eyewitness account that everything happened according to Scripture…the division of Jesus’ garments, the soldiers casting lots, the offering of vinegar, the unbroken bones and the piercing of His side… they were all done in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.
Jeremiah 24-26 goes backward in time… he begins with Nebuchadnezzar taking one of the first groups of exiles back to Babylon. And then in Chapter 26, Jeremiah “flashbacks” to the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign where he stands in the temple and begs the people to repent so that God’s impending judgment might be averted. Listen to the people’s response…
And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.
At first, it seems like Jeremiah might be killed by the same type of angry mob as Jesus was… But by God’s grace, the people came to their senses and determined not to kill Jeremiah – so that they might not “bring great disaster upon themselves.”
What is this world that we live in?
Have you ever wondered why God subjected Jeremiah to such hardship? Why did God even bother with the people??? God answers in Jeremiah 26:3, “It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent…”
All God wants is repentance. But the people refused to hear the truth. Their pride blinded them to their need for change.
Jesus died because of this pride – this hatred in every human heart for the truth. But Jesus also died to vanquish this pride and darkness found in every human heart.
Have you ever wondered why God subjected Jesus to such hardship? Why does God even bother with us??? God’s answer is the same as it was in Jer. 26:3:
“It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent.”