Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. (John 13:1-4)
How Jesus Prepared To Die
Death was not a stranger to Jesus. As Creator, He knew the sadness of death was born from the tears of sin. When Abel was murdered by his brother, death became real to all humanity. Methuselah enjoys the notoriety of the longest recorded man in history but the scriptures say he died. When God brought the flood upon the earth, untold millions of souls perished. Disease, famine, wars, inhumanity, natural disasters, and life itself loudly ring the chimes of time that death is inevitable. Cemeteries are stark reminders of something no man can change. Everyone has a tombstone with their name on it.
The knowledge of death has not been the struggle with the human spirit. How to prepare for death is the more pressing concern. Since the beginning of time, men have searched for the proverbial fountain of youth. Few find answers in the wisdom of men. Jesus knew He was going to die and He knew how He would die. What prepared the Son of God for His death was the knowledge He shared with the heavenly Father.
Jesus knew the Father had given Him authority over all things. The relationship between Jesus and His Father was the endearment of trust. Jesus came in the flesh born of a woman. He had to learn to walk, talk, and learn about the Heavenly Father. Jesus was tempted in all points yet without sin. At the beginning of His ministry, Satan tried to deceive the Lord with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Jesus attached the wiles of the devil with the word of God. Throughout the life of Jesus, the word of His Father was foremost in His speech, words, thoughts, and actions. The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to perform miracles, heal all diseases, and raise the dead. Jesus had complete power over the demon world. Satan was subject to the will of the Son of God.
The day before Jesus would die on the cross, He gathered with the twelve apostles a final time. He would wash the feet of the twelve to show them the true act of love was found in being a servant. Judas watched as Jesus washed his feet, knowing what he was about to do. Jesus knew what Judas was going to do and when. The events of that night were constructed according to the authority of God, the will of the Son of God, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Nothing happened that did not fall under the sway of the redemptive plan to save mankind. Jesus knew what was about to happen was the will of His Father.
Jesus prepared to die because He knew two things: He had come from the Father and He was going back to the Father. Before time began, Jesus was with the Father. Coming to earth, Jesus knew He would live in the flesh and suffer the temptations as all men do but a day would come when Jesus would be nailed to a cross and die. He knew this. It was not a mistake or a cleverly crafted plan by the Jews. The death of Jesus was according to the will of God. What gave Jesus comfort to face such an ordeal was to know He came from God and that death was nothing more than the avenue for Him to return to the Father. He faced death knowing it would bring Him closer to seeing His Father face to face. With confident courage of faith, Jesus went to the cross and died. And then Sunday came.
Death is a fearful thing to face. Most men dread it. A Christian can face death with a joyous spirit knowing that with the authority of the word of God, promises have been made that transcend the joys of this world. Like Jesus, who knew the Father had given Him all things, the child of God can live knowing that God has made eternal promises and that God cannot lie. Through the word of God and faith in the promises of God, life is not as precious here as the life found in eternity. Death is no longer feared when the Christian knows that he is created by the hand of God and that death will take him to see the Father face to face. Jesus knew that He had come from the Father and was going to God. The fear of death is removed when the heart of love knows they come from the Father and they are going to God. Then, death is a welcome guest. How you face death will be how you face life. Be prepared to die but do so with joy.