But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here. (John 14:31)
The Pivotal Moment In The Life Of Jesus
He knew He came to die for the sins of all mankind. As God, He did not consider it robbery to be equal with God but willingly offered His body as the Lamb of God for a bloody sacrifice. His journey began when he was thirty years of age, and in less than three years, He would die on a Roman cross as a common criminal. Throughout His ministry, Jesus spoke of the day when He would go to Jerusalem, where He would be treated with hatred by the people and die on the cross. Afterward, He would rise from the dead, but this would not happen without the journey to Golgotha. The scheme of redemption was planned in the eternal halls of God’s grace. Jesus knew when His hour would come.
On a quiet evening in an upper room, the Lord shared the solemn meal of Passover with the twelve apostles as He had done the past few years. His hour had come, and He knew His death was drawing near. First, He knelt before the twelve men and washed their feet. They did not understand the significance of His humility until Jesus explained the nature of servitude. His example would set the scene for the coming crucifixion. Judas would excuse himself from the gathering leaving Jesus with the eleven disciples telling them what He was about to do. And then came that pivotal moment when Jesus tells the eleven it was time to leave. Rising, He tells the disciples they must leave the upper room.
Going down the steps into the city, Jesus and His disciples begin walking toward Gethsemane. As the Lord walks along, He continues to tell the eleven about the ministry they will embark upon in the coming days, months, and years. They are unaware of how clear these words will ring to them as they recount this journey outside Jerusalem. At the same time, Judas has found the leaders who seek the death of Jesus. Soldiers have been secured, the Jewish leaders have gathered a mob together, and following Judas’ instructions, they make their way to a specific place in the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus often went. It is unclear if Judas first went to the upper room and, not finding Jesus, took the mob to the garden. As Jesus arrives in the garden, he takes Peter, James, and John a short distance away and begins to pray. Shortly after He prays a third time, Judas arrives, and Jesus is arrested. Early the next day, the Son of God is condemned to death, taken to Golgotha, and crucified. Hours later, Jesus dies.
It is difficult to describe the suffering of Jesus. He knew He would die a horrible death. His love for the apostles was overwhelming, and His love for Judas was found in a bowl of water and the hands of the Lord washing His betrayer’s feet. Everyone knew the precursor to crucifixion was the savage beating called scourging. Each man would then be compelled to carry his own cross to the place of crucifixion and thrown to the ground where he was nailed to a cross. He was then lifted up to suffer the most excruciating, humiliating, and painful death known to man. Death would be desired but fleeting. Mercifully, Jesus would last only a few hours before succumbing to the horror of Roman execution. Armed with this knowledge, Jesus made a fateful decision in the upper room when He said to His disciples, “Arise, let us go from here.”
When Jesus told the eleven they must leave the upper room, Jesus had fully committed Himself to the plan of His Father. His leaving the upper room proved two things. First, it proved His love for the Father. The world would know that Jesus loved His Father because He arose and went to Golgotha. Second, His leaving the upper room shows the world that He was obedient to His Father’s commandment. Before time began, God gave Jesus a command, and now Jesus was fulfilling that command. None of this could be done until Jesus left the upper room. It was a decisive moment in the life of Jesus, but more than anything, it was a crucial moment in every person’s life on earth. Had Jesus not left the upper room, there would be no joy and no peace. Thank God Jesus said, “Arise and let us go from here” so that all men can die with the words on their lips, “Arise and let us go to the Father.”