Septuagesima Week – Monday
It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. – John 11:50.
Many of the Jews who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus believed in Jesus. But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees gathered a council and said: “What do we? – for this Man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him, and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.”
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them: “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” And this spake he not of himself, but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather into one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
The latter are God’s elect, whom God’s eye seeth. So from that day forth they took counsel together that they might put Jesus to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but went thence to a country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, between Bethel and Jericho, and there continued with His disciples. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand (John 11:45-55).
Yes, indeed, it is expedient that the one Jesus should die for us “all” (II Corinthians 5:15 a), and that we believers, by God’s grace, do “not perish” (John 3:15-16) in the “torments” of “hell” (Luke 16:23), “but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 c). Indeed, according to “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23 a), Jesus was “crucified and slain” (v. 23b) for all people, all so that “He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11:52 b). This is God’s marvelous work!
The Apostle Paul confirmed this when he wrote to his fellow believers in Ephesians 2: “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (vv. 8-9). O my fellow believers, “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4) because of all of the “great things” which He has done for you (Psalm 126:3).
PRAYER – I believe in Thee, my only Savior from the curse and condemnation of Thy holy Law. Help me always to believe in Thee and in Thy salvation. Remind me again and again of the words of truth written down by the Apostle John in the third chapter of his Gospel: “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned (John 3:17-18). O continue to hear and help me. Amen.
The Gospel shows the Father’s grace, who sent His Son to save our race;
proclaims how Jesus lived and died, that man might thus be justified.
It sets the Lamb before our eyes, who made th’ atoning sacrifice;
and calls the souls with guilt opprest, to come and find eternal rest.
It brings the Savior’s righteousness, our souls to robe in royal dress;
from all our guilt it brings release, and gives the troubled conscience peace.
It is the pow’r of God to save, from sin and Satan and the grave;
it works the faith which firmly clings, to all the treasures which it brings.
May we in faith its tidings learn, nor thanklessly its blessings spurn;
may we in faith its truth confess, and praise the Lord our righteousness!
Hymn 297, stanzas 1-4 and 6 (TLH)