NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

WHAT GOD KNEW BEFORE TIME BEGAN

Matthew 26–28

God’s Story

Jesus tells his disciples that he will be crucified in just a couple of days. At dinner, a woman pours expensive perfume on Jesus’ head. The disciples are stunned. It’s such a waste. Jesus scolds them—she has beautifully prepared him for burial.

Behind the scenes, Judas strikes a deal with the religious leaders to betray Jesus. At the Passover meal commemorating Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Jesus announces a new covenant—which will provide his followers with their exodus from the slave master of sin. He demonstrates it with bread and wine. His body, broken like the bread, will pour out his blood, procuring forgiveness for sin.

After the meal, the group travels to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus begs his Father to let him pay for sin another way, yet submits. Judas and the temple police arrive, and Jesus is handed over to the religious leaders.

The disciples flee. Jesus is passed from the ruling Jewish council to the Roman governor. Jesus is righteous and innocent; yet through crooked leadership and a frenzied crowd, the heavenly Father’s plan for redemption allows for Jesus to be condemned and crucified like a criminal..

God’s Son is dead.

But not forever. On the third day, in a borrowed tomb that isn’t borrowed for long, God raises Jesus back to life.

The King’s Heart

Centuries before, God had asked another father to put his much-loved son on an altar (see the story of Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 22). That faithful father obeyed. The faithful son had too. As the father raised his hand to bring down the knife to slay his son, God stayed his hand. God provided another sacrifice to take the son’s place.

But this time, on this altar, this Father did not stay his hand. There would be no other sacrifice. The Son is the sacrifice.

God knew that we wouldn’t just need help to live better lives. We would need something so powerful that it would break the curse of sin and death, nullifying Satan’s claim on our souls. God knew this before the foundation of the world. His cure would be Jesus, “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

Before God said, “Let there be light!” he knew that Jesus would be crucified. That means that the Son knew too—and he chose to come to earth anyway. And he chose to stay on the altar. Because he is just that good.

Insight

As Jesus took on the sin of the world, the earth physically responded to the weight of what was happening. The sky darkened and the earth shook.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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