Today in the concluding part of our Series on “Festival of Obedience,” we come to
“For I have come here from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to have my own way.” (John 6:38)
“I will freely do what the Father requires of me so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.” (John 14:31)
Can we ever fully fathom what it cost the Saviour to fulfill the Father’s will? Right from leaving the indescribable glory of Heaven and taking birth in the lowly foul-smelling manger on the First Christmas to dying an agonizing death on the cruel Cross, God’s Son experienced it all (Heb 5:8).
His journey from the manger to the Cross also took Him through a life of poverty and obscurity in a humble carpenter’s abode, which was followed by painful rejection by not only His countrymen at large (John 1:11), but also by his own kith and kin (John 7:5), of a God-pleasing Ministry done with no relative comforts or possessions that He could call His own (Matt 8:20). Hey, barring the clothes, which the Roman Soldiers casts lots for (Matt 27:35) at the end of His life, Jesus (“Son of the Richest Heavenly Father” Haggai 2:8) owned nothing else in His earthly sojourn! What sustained Him through all these? Only the joyous communion with the Father brought about by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21) at all times. Even this sole comfort was taken away from Him as the crushing weight of all the sins of the World of all times started slowly but surely descending on His spirit (Matt 26:38-TLB) the night before His execution. Added to this, the next day, at a time when great physical pain from cruel whipping and excruciating agony of the crucifixion were already compounding His cup of woes, came that inexpressible agonizing moment of drinking fully from the cup of Divine wrath (Matt 27:46) as a sole substitute for all the sin of mankind. In short, at death He experienced Hell (all kinds of pain) on Earth, in order those who accept Him as Savior do not end up there! Woe unto those who do not receive such a great Saviour (who gave His all) into their lives in humble obedience to the Divine will (John 3:16, Heb 2:3). As for us who have received Him already and are walking joyously with Him, how can we ever adequately thank Him in return for all He’s done for us, other than this way: “And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1 TLB).
What does it mean to give our bodies as a “living sacrifice” other than living a life of love-inspired obedience at all times to His revealed will in the NT Scriptures (Matt –Rev) and the Holy Spirit’s instructions (Acts 9:31/Gal 5:16)? If you resolve to do it this Christmas, after having first accepted Him as your personal Saviour, then be assured Heavenly joy which none can take away (John 15:11), and Heavenly peace which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7/John 14:27) will fill your hearts and minds, enabling you to “enjoy” the abundant life promised by the Saviour (John 10:10) at all times. Oh yes, our Heavenly Father gives us a foretaste of Heaven right here on Earth as He moulds us into His Son’s image (can sometimes be painful) before finally taking us “up there” to experience eternally the joys beyond our imagination (I Cor 2:9).
Both for joyous journey on Earth (which would not have been possible but for the first Christmas) and the Blessed hope of Blessed future, let’s rejoice. Again I say, lets rejoice. Merry, joy-filled Christmas time to you for the present and for all times to come!
Prayer: Father, there is no greater example than that of Your Son to elicit unquestioned obedience from our side. This Christmas and beyond, help us come across as “obedient children” to Thee at all times. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Festival of Obedience” mini-series, please click here.)