The Hidden Life Of Jesus
By Johnny Tatum
#7) JESUS IS GRANTED FULL KNOWLEDGE OF WHO HE IS
After the Triumphal Entry there is no question that Jesus is going to the Cross, and that He is going to die. It is at this point that God the Father gives Jesus more knowledge than He (Jesus) has ever had.
We have been studying how Jesus gradually learned about who He was – about how Jesus gradually learned the direction of His ministry – about how Jesus gradually learned what His fate would be – about how Jesus gradually learned about the Cross. However, things have changed.
Now, Jesus is facing the Cross, however, there is something we can never forget:
Note: Even as a Human Being, the Cross was always Jesus’ choice. He could have declined going to the Cross. Why? Because, even as a Human Being, Jesus was equal with God. Though He did not exercise His divine prerogative (in His humanity, He did not have the knowledge of God), He was equal with God. And God the Father never let Jesus forget that.
At the end of Jesus’ life, the Cross is looming and God the Father wants Jesus to make the choice about the Cross; and for Jesus to make that choice, God the Father has to give Jesus knowledge. Therefore, I believe, during the last week of His life, God the Father floods Jesus with full consciousness of who He is.
Presented In The Gospels:
In John 14, we read an account of the Passover Seder (meal), which Jesus shared with His disciples in the Upper Room. Listen to what He says:
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:22)
Prior to this, Jesus did not know from where He came; however, here at the end, He knows everything.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
That is a triple hendiadys (expressing one complex idea). Again, Jesus is fully conscious of who He is.
In John 16, Jesus says:
I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and I am going to the Father. (John 16:28)
In this one sentence, Jesus summarized it all! God has granted Jesus the knowledge of where He (Jesus) is in Eternity, which is outside of time: He is with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The second Person of the Godhead (the Son of God) was the One designated from the beginning:
Now Jesus knows all of that, and He says:
Now Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)
Here in the Upper Room, Jesus is fully majestic and He knows everything, because God the Father has given Him full knowledge. Why?—
Note: I am not saying that Jesus is looking forward to the Cross; I am saying that at this point in His life, Jesus is facing something that really is worse than the Cross. I am not making light of the Cross, however, there were many people who went to the cross who were not sweating blood at Gethsemane and who approached death with calm.
That is like today when many people who are facing execution approach their deaths with calm. In the 1960s, a fellow in the USA was facing death by firing squad for capital punishment. As he was being readied for the firing squad, he was asked Do you have one last request? To which the fellow answered Why yes, a bulletproof vest! Some people face death with calm.
Jesus is facing something at the end of His life that to Him is worse than the Cross. What He is dreading is not the Cross—although again, He certainly is not looking forward to the Cross—there is something worse.
As His days get shorter, Jesus spends more and more time with His disciples; as we have just seen, at the end of His life, Jesus brought His disciples with Him to the Upper Room. Why?
Now, Jesus knows the end is near; He knows that He is going to the Cross (it is not going to be an Isaac-type situation). Though Jesus is not looking forward to the Cross, He is in ordeal mentally because He knows something is about to happen that is:
Therefore, Jesus wants to have that moment at a place where He feels comfortable—the Garden of Gethsemane.
Presented In The Gospels:
In Luke 22, we have a brief account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Jesus is leaving the Upper Room.
and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives;
Why does Jesus choose to go to the Mount of Olives? Because He is about to face something that He knows what it is, but He does not know what it will be like. So Jesus goes to a place where He is comfortable, a place where He has prayed many times before: the Garden of Gethsemane.
Since it is an ordeal He is facing, Jesus wants to be with people who are closest to Him:
and the disciples also followed Him. (Luke 22:39)
Toward the end of His life, Jesus withdrew from the crowds more and more, and focused more and more on His disciples. Here He takes His twelve disciples with Him to Gethsemane to help Him face what is coming.
Jesus wants the disciples near Him, however, what is about to happen is a very private transaction between Jesus and His Father. Although He wants the disciples close, now He must pull away from them:
And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father,
Something Very Interesting: This is the last time Jesus calls Him Father. Why? Because our sins are about to come on Jesus, and when they do, He is going to be cursed; and when Jesus is cursed, He cannot call Him Father anymore.
if You are willing, remove this cup form Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:41, 42)
What is Jesus praying? He is praying that He will not die at this moment.
Traditional Interpretation: Jesus is saying If possible, let Me not go to the Cross—the cup meaning “the Cross.” No! In His humanity, Jesus was not praying that the Cross would be removed; He knew with certainty that the Cross was coming—
After the Upper Room discourse, Jesus knows that He is going to the Cross, and that He has willingly identified with us.
To Be Saved From Death:
In Hebrews 5, the writer says:
In the days of His flesh,
Speaking of Jesus.
He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death,
Obviously, this is at Gethsemane.
Look at what He says:
and He was heard because of His piety. (Hebrews 5:7)
The writer of Hebrews says that the prayer, which Jesus prayed at Gethsemane, was heard because He was the Son; Jesus’ prayer—to be saved from death—was answered Yes!
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is an excellent book that presents historical accounts of the early church age martyrs and the tortures and cruelties they endured. The book does not get too graphic, but it does give enough information for you to know that people were nailed to poles, placed in fires, and up until their last breath, they continued singing hymns, praying for their tormentors, and praising God.
Consider the apostle John who escaped a violent death and lived to be about 100 years old. His persecutors kept trying to kill him, but they could not; they put John in boiling oil [that was great for his skin], but he did not die!
“Being at Ephesus, he was ordered by the emperor Domitian to be sent bound to Rome, where he was condemned to be cast into a caldron of boiling oil. But here a miracle was wrought in his favor; the oil did him no injury; and Domitian, not being able to put him to death, banished him to Patmos to labor in the mines, A.D. 73.” (Theodore Alois Buckley, M.A., Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, London, George Routledge & Sons, Limited)
There were martyrs who were tortured, frankly, more than Jesus, and they were not in agony like Him. Again, it was not the physical Cross Jesus was dreading [although He was not looking forward to it]; it was:
The Separation From His Father
It is obvious that Jesus was asking Let this cup pass, because He felt like He was going to die right there at the Garden of Gethsemane:
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became drops of blood falling down upon the ground… (Luke 22:44)
In the original Greek text, clearly it says He was sweating drops of blood.
Note: It does not say that Jesus’ sweat became like blood—the word like means Jesus was bleeding through His pores so much that it was pouring out of His skin like sweat, but it was blood!
Blood pouring out of the skin is known to have happened. Under great stress, the heart muscle actually gives out, and every organ functions below what it is supposed to function. Sometimes the organs freeze up, or sometimes they overreact, but they will do one or the other in relation to stress. It makes the blood pressure so high that the heart, literally, cannot take it, and it starts to collapse. And when that happens, it forces the blood out, because under stress the pores on the skin also enlarge, and all of those fine capillaries at the surface of the skin start to break. Where does that blood go? Out of the pores.
THE REASON FOR JESUS’ AGONY
What is happening to Jesus at this moment?
All of our sins were being put on Him.
And when our sins were put on Jesus, He felt something He had never felt before; He experienced something He had never experienced before; He experienced something He did not know what it would be like—death.
What is death? Romans 6 tells us:
The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
Here, death means spiritual death—separation from the Father.
So what is Jesus dreading right now?
Separation from His Father—something Jesus cannot anticipate what it is going to be like.
We sin so much that we are hardened to our sin; however…
Jesus was an innocent Person, a sinless Person:
o Who did not know what sin felt like.
o Who did not know what separation from His Father felt like.
What is a separated man from God? Sin. But Jesus did not have any sin; He never sinned.
Through all His doubt, through all His disappointments, through all of His depressions, Jesus never knew what it was like to be separated from His Father. But now Jesus is thinking What will it be like when I am separated from My Father? Jesus dreaded separation from His Father. As the sins of the world start coming down on Him physically, He almost cannot take it.
Living On Forever:
Again, we are so hardened to sin that we have lost the connection with Sin being death. That is what it is: Sin is death; and the only kind of death [there is] is separation from God, not ceasing consciousness.
As far as we know, everybody’s consciousness lives on forever. Even the unbeliever is going to live forever in a sense, although it is such a horrible place that you cannot really call it living. It is called death—though it is conscious—and that is separation from God. The unbeliever is not conscious here on this earth; however, his consciousness lives on in Hades, and that we know from the rich man (an unbeliever) and the poor man, Lazarus (a believer)—
“Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over form here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.” (Luke 16:22-26)
The rich man (an unbeliever) died and went to Hades; his consciousness lives on.
We tend to think that when our sins were placed on Jesus’ account, it was just a legal maneuver. In another words, legally, our sins were put on His account (ledger); therefore, legally, He had to pay the judicial penalty, which is death. That is not the way it is at all.
Our sins were literally put on Jesus. He felt them; He almost died from them; and He knew what they were. In Psalm 40:
For evils beyond number have surrounded Me; My iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to see. (Psalm 40:12)
Jesus made an amazing choice of words—My iniquities means iniquities that are Mine, but I did not do them. When our sins were on Jesus, He felt them and He was very aware they were coming on Him, because they were physically put on Him.
Good News For Born Again Believers: That means that our sins were not just dealt with judicially (legally); our sins were literally (physically) put on Jesus. In fact, the reason we know that is our sins almost killed Him. And He is praying there at Gethsemane Do not let Me die here; Let this cup pass; I am feeling like I am dying here with all of these sins dumped on Me; Let this cup pass.
OUR SINS WERE KILLED
When Jesus died on the Cross—when His body was killed on the Cross—our sins that were in His body were killed [not just erased]. In 2 Corinthians, Paul says:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Paul could have just said He made Him who never sinned to be sin for us, but he said He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. Jesus’ identification with us is not just something theoretical; it is our salvation. If Jesus was not really identified with us, then our sin is still on us. If He did not identify with us, then where is our sin? It is still on us. Our sins were really put on Him; and that explains Gethsemane.
Question: Do you see what Jesus was going through?
Even not knowing, and even dreading it, Jesus did it anyway.
Just A Thought: That may also be why Jesus was not judgmental toward sinners during His ministry. If Jesus were here today, we would be scandalized at what He did and where He went—because Jesus was not judgmental about sin. And part of the answer is: Sin was a foreign concept to Jesus; He did not understand sin, but He was willingly to identify with us. [And, of course, there is no question that He is also very forgiving and merciful.]
Father, as the rain comes down from heaven and makes the plants grow, even without their participation, would You take this knowledge You have given us: our sins were literally put on Jesus. And when our sins were put on Him, His 100 percent obedience to the Law was placed on us. And just as our sins were really placed on Jesus, Your righteousness is really placed on us.
We thank You, although it does not seem possible, and evidence seems totally to the contrary, that those of us who at some point looked at Jesus and said I believe that You paid the penalty for my sins we are 100 percent righteous.
Father, we thank You for that righteousness, and we ask that You would continue to bless our study of the Hidden Life of Jesus. We pray in His name. Amen.
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