The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
John recorded Jesus’ public ministry (chaps. 1-12), his private ministry to the disciples (chaps. 13-17), and now relates Jesus’ passion victory (chaps. 18-22; “passion” here means/refers to Jesus’ suffering). Remember the purpose of John’s gospel in 20:31.
Jesus’ death happened because this was always God’s plan from eternity past (cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). From Judas’ greed and betrayal of Jesus to the Jews’ hatred, to Pilate’s greater desire to pacify the crowd than administer true justice, God’s plan to save sinners through Jesus was fulfilled. Jesus knew this and willingly followed and submitted to God’s will (vv. 4, 11).
Jesus’ innocence is evident throughout: the Jews refused to hear any witnesses of Jesus’ teaching (vv. 19-24), Pilate recognized Jesus’ innocence (v. 38), and the Jews’ aim was pure murder.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- For sinners to be forgiven by God and receive eternal life (20:31) sin must be atoned for by an innocent substitute. Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (1:29). Having lived a completely righteous life without sin he had no sin of his own for which he was liable. As Jesus was fully God and man (1:1ff) and without sin he was able to be the needed, perfect sacrifice for sinners. Yet he had to be sacrificed, dying not by an accident or his own doing, but by another’s hand (v. 32). This and the next chapter detail how that happened and how Jesus did not try to get away but as an innocent lamb willingly submitted himself.
- Jesus statement to Pilate, “my kingdom is not of this world” (vv. 33-37) points to the differences between worldly kingdoms and Christ’s coming kingdom. It has a completely different origin, being from heaven, not the world. It has a completely different character, being righteous, not corrupt. It has a completely different method of establishment, by God’s power, not man’s effort. Pilate, most Jews, and the Jewish religious establishment were worldly, corrupt, and depended on man’s power. Jesus wasn’t that kind of a King, and that’s why they rejected him. Because Jesus’ kingdom doesn’t depend on men to establish and sustain it, so don’t try. Jesus will when it’s time for Him to do so (v. 36).