Day 185: July 4, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 26:1-5

1 When Jesus had finished saying all this, He told His disciples, 2 “You know that the Passover takes place after two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus in a treacherous way and kill Him. 5 “Not during the festival,” they said, “so there won’t be rioting among the people.”

Mark 14:1-2

1 After two days it was the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a treacherous way to arrest and kill Him. 2 “Not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be rioting among the people.”

Luke 22:1-2

1 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was drawing near. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death, because they were afraid of the people.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

When Jesus had finished saying all this, He told His disciples, “You know that the Passover takes place after two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus in a treacherous way and kill Him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “so there won’t be rioting among the people.”

—Matthew 26:1-5

Waiving a White Flag
by Taylor Johnson,

In verse 2, when talking with His disciples, Jesus predicted His own capture, suffering, and death. He knew that He’d be betrayed within two days. When Jesus announced this to His disciples, He didn’t mean, “Game Over.” He meant, “My entire life, ministry, and purpose has culminated to this very occasion.” In other words, “Game On.”

Interestingly enough, in this case, “Game On” didn’t at all mean the fight had begun, but rather, “I’m going to surrender.”

Knowing the religious authorities were conspiring to secretly capture and kill Him, Jesus didn’t flee to Galilee. Instead, He bravely and humbly marched right on into Jerusalem. It’s by no accident that He was given as the symbolic and literal sacrificial lamb in the midst of Passover.

Jesus’ capture in the Garden of Gethsemane was only capable through His own consent. Jesus was handed over by God not by man (see John 3:16).

The religious authorities thought they’d won. They thought they’d overcome and outsmarted this man and would destroy Him. Little did they understand that His capture and destruction was God’s predetermined plan for redeeming a fallen world (see 1 Peter 1:20).

Though Christ’s life seemed to be taken by storm, it really was surrendered. In our world, the idea of surrender is usually negative—it’s over, you’ve failed, you’ve lost, you’ve been captured by the enemy, mission aborted.

In Chris Tomlin’s song, “White Flag,” a song about surrender, it says, “The war is over, Love has come, Your love has won.” In Jesus’ surrender, He didn’t lose. He didn’t fail. His mission wasn’t aborted. He was captured by the enemy because He chose to be. In Jesus’ surrender, He won. We won.

John 10:17-18 says, “This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”

How incredible is it to know the God of the universe was/is willing to sacrifice His spotless Son to die for our sins?

I heard an old, old story
How a Savior came from glory
How he gave his life on Calvary
To save someone like me

I heard about His groaning,
Of his precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sin
And won the victory

Oh, victory in Jesus,
My Savior forever
He sought me and He bought me
With His redeeming blood

He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the Cleansing flood

Reflection Questions

  1. Does knowing that Christ willingly chose to surrender Himself for you change the way you worship?
  2. What are you willing to surrender for Christ in your life?

About the Author

Taylor Johnson

At Trevecca Nazarene University, Taylor graduated with a degree in Religious Studies, minoring in Behavioral Sciences. Previously, he served in the children's ministry at West Jackson Baptist Church and as a Centri-Kid Worship Leader for LifeWay Camps. He joined the Brentwood Baptist staff in 2007 as a Children's Ministry Intern and Worship Leader, then moved to his current role in August 2011. Today, he oversees KidLife and all aspects of worship in the Children's Ministry and Marketplace. Taylor is married to Jenai.