As Jesus gave His last instructions to the eleven disciples with Him in the upper room, on the night of their last supper together, He spoke with the urgency of One Who knows that the time is short.
“I don’t have much more time to talk with you,” He said, “because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over Me, but I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.” John 14:30,31 NLTJesus knew that His time was near. The ruler of this world, the devil, had no power over Jesus, Who had walked this earth for thirty-three years without sin, despite experiencing all the temptations that we humans face. And since He had no sin, death and the devil had no claim, no power over Him.
But Jesus knew that He would submit Himself to death, freely and voluntarily. He willingly carried out His Father’s plan, taking upon Himself the sin of the world, and thus submitting to death. Jesus’ willing submission is proof to a cynical world that there is pure, strong, unselfish, measureless love– the love of Jesus for His Father, and their love for the souls of men.
Paul tells us that He Who was equal with God made Himself of no reputation, took upon Himself the form of a man, and humbled Himself, becoming obedient, even to the death of the cross.
I am reminded of the words of the old hymn:
“‘Tis mystery all, the Immortal dies;
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of Love Devine.
‘Tis mercy all, let earth adore, let angel minds inquire no more.”