As Jesus was facing the betrayal, abandonment, injustice, abuse and mockery we know as Good Friday, we are given this incredible insight into his heart from his disciple, John:
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God” John 13:3
The tectonic plates of Jesus’ life were crashing together, but at no point do we see him out of control or acting in ways that were inconsistent with the person that his disciples had known him to be over the three years of their journey with him. From the Last Supper to his Last Breath, Jesus stood solidly in his true identity as God’s beloved Son.
He blessed his betrayer by washing his feet and sharing a meal.
He cared for his friends by making time with them over a sacred meal and gently pointing them to the greater reality of what was about to happen, even though they had no capacity yet to grasp his words.
He made time for intense prayer while his enemies footsteps drew closer and his friends slept in oblivion.
He stepped forward to speak truth by freely confessing that he was the man the mob was seeking.
He rebuked Peter as the blood dripped from his uncontrolled sword swipe while reaching across to heal the mangled ear of the injured mobster.
All the way to his last tortured breath, a prayer of trusting committal to his Father, Jesus showed us all that he was firmly connected with unwavering certainty to who he was and what his purpose was.
Jesus knew his place with the Father: “the Father had put all things under his power”. The certain power of Jesus’ security in his place with the Father shines through even as he is made powerless with his arms outstretched on a cross. He knew that power was his by his Father’s word, and he yielded to the path before him, knowing that his place at the Father’s right hand could not be taken away. He didn’t have to fight because the fight had already been won.
Jesus knew his origin: “He had come from God.” His birth in a stable in Bethlehem was an entry point into his identification with humanity, not a statement of his worth. He fully understood his genesis in the bigger picture of all time and eternity. He had nothing to prove.
Jesus knew his destiny: “He was returning to God.” He had no doubt that the darkness of that day would not have the final say. His confidence in God’s promise breathed into his last words, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” even after his cry of abandonment, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Though the agony was literally life-destroying, Jesus rested in the truth that his suffering had ultimate meaning and that he could leave the final chapter in the sovereign hands of God.
I get it that Christlike response is most often couched in terms of attitudes and behaviours. At one level, that makes sense. But what if Christlikeness goes deeper, much deeper, to a place of certainty that God’s heart is for you and that you are fully secure in God’s purpose. How would that sense of security impact how you live and react and feel and connect?
What steps do you need to get there? How will you stand solidly in your God-given identity?