Jesus met opposition and the threat of death with grace and determination to accomplish his Father’s will. Jesus knew that his mission, his purpose in life, would entail sacrifice and suffering and culminate with death on the cross.
But that would not be the end. His “hour” would crush defeat with victory, condemnation with pardon and freedom, and death with glory and everlasting life. He willingly suffered and went to the cross for our sake, to redeem us from sin and to restore our relationship with God the Father.
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) says: “Our Lord had the power to lay down his life and to take it up again. But we cannot choose how long we shall live, and death comes to us even against our will. Christ, by dying, has already overcome death.
Our freedom from death comes only through his death. To save us Christ had no need of us. Yet without him we can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches; apart from him we cannot live.” No one can be indifferent with Jesus for long.
What he said and did – his signs and wonders – he did in the name of God. Jesus not only claimed to be the Messiah, God’s Anointed One. He claimed to be in a unique relationship with God and to know him as no one else did. To the Jews this was utter blasphemy.
The religious authorities did all they could to put a stop to Jesus because they could not accept his claims and the demands he made.
We cannot be indifferent to the claims which Jesus makes on us.
We are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground.
We can try to mold Jesus to our own ideas and preferences or we can allow his word to free us from our own ignorance, stubborn pride, and deception.
Do you accept all that Jesus has said and done for you with faith and reverence or with disbelief and contempt?
The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity.