Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
It is my joy to minister the Word of God to you this morning and I would like to do so by taking you to the gospel of John, John chapter 17. And in a moment we will begin to examine the first 10 verses.
We come to that season of the year where Christians around the world celebrate the death, burial and especially the resurrection of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I believe that the Spirit of God would have me bring to you this morning a discourse of clarity, one that will help you better understand what the world so desperately tries to obscure. In all of the chaos and the materialism that has been brought into this particular season of the year, I am convinced that most people, even sadly many Christians really do not understand the magnificent, ineffable truths of what transpired when Jesus came to give his life as a ransom for sinners.
Sadly, if you look around our culture you see much more enthusiasm about Easter eggs, about Easter baskets, Easter bunnies, Easter bonnets. I am running out of Bs, but you get the idea.
And if you were to ask the average Christian to briefly summarize what really transpired the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, I fear that many would struggle. Yet, dear friends, these magnificent events, what happened in the passion week of Christ are really the substance of our faith, the basis of our hope, the source of our love.
So this morning I wish to bring clarity to you concerning God’s marvelous plan of redemption especially as it relates to the consummation of the Lord’s earthly ministry. And so to do that I thought that we would go to John chapter 17.
And let me give you some context here before I read the text and begin to examine it with you. After Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead which was a very public and obviously a profound event, he very dramatically enters into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. And he is hailed by the masses as their Messiah King as we read earlier in our Scripture reading. They were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”1
“Hosanna” means save now.
“Hosanna to the Son of David.”2
And yet this would be the same crowd that would call for him to be crucified just a few days later.
As he comes into Jerusalem with his disciples and many thousands of followers were certain that he was about to overthrow Rome and establish the long promised earthly kingdom. But, of course, they did not understand that he was coming instead to save them from their sin, not from Rome, that he was coming to be the Passover Lamb.
As he enters into Jerusalem, the first thing he does is he goes and physically cleanses the temple. In fact, he literally possesses the temple for about two days.
Of course, the Jewish leaders absolutely hate him. They are jealous because people are following him rather than them. Plus, he has exposed their self righteous hypocrisy and, indeed, they have rejected his claim to be the Son of God. They have attributed all of his miraculous works to Satan and now as we come to John 17 we are approaching just a few hours before his arrest and crucifixion. The Lord is with his disciples in the upper room of a house that they have rented. They are celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples. And he has washed his disciples’ feet. He, by now, has revealed that Judas would betray him. He has also explained to them that he is about to die. Judas has left to do his deed. Jesus has also revealed that Peter would deny him.
Do you know what it is like to be really, really excited about something and then suddenly have your hopes dashed? That is what happened to the disciples. By now their euphoria had turned to dismay even to despair. So Jesus quickly comforted them saying:
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.3
During this time he also promises that the Holy Spirit would come, would be their helper, that he would, according to John 14:26 teach them all things and bring to their remembrance all that he had said to them.
It was at this time that Jesus instituted what is called the Lord’s supper, a commemoration of his death, a picture of the fellowship that we enjoy with the Lord and certainly a reminder of what was necessary for the new covenant to become a reality.
And then after this farewell discourse in that upper room of John 14 we see that he very abruptly gets up and leaves and takes his disciples with him. He leads them out of the city. He goes down and crosses over the Kidron Valley to the lower part of the Mount of Olives. And on the way he gives his discourse about the true vine, about the ministry of the Holy Spirit as we read in both John 15, John 16. He tells them about the Spirit that would come who would convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment in John 16, how that the would guide them into all truth. He is making his way with them to the Garden of Gethsemane.
In fact, Jesus encourages them during this walk. In John 16:20 we learn that he says to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy.”4
And, indeed, they would eventually grieve over his death, but then soon they would rejoice after his resurrection. You see, it was only after his resurrection that the disciples really grasped the significance of his death, that Jesus was, in fact, the Passover lamb, that the perfect substitute for sin that satisfied the justice of a holy God so that sinful men could be reconciled to him.
And after warning them of the great trials that God would allow fall upon them when he gives them a final word of encouragement in John 16:33 where he says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”5
And then after this very sober reminder trials as well as triumph as they approach Gethsemane, the second member of the triune godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ offers his high priestly prayer recorded in John 17, a poignant, profound prayer just hours before his death where he intercedes on behalf of his disciples and for all who would eventually believe as a result of their preaching.
Here, dear friends, he entrusts the safe keeping of the disciples, all of us, into the Father’s care as part of a divine plan that was decreed before the world was even created.
Like nowhere else in all of Scriptures, we are allowed here into the very holy of holies of the inter trinitarian communication. Let me read just these 10 verses to you of the Lord’s prayer.
These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.
"I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
"I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understood that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine; and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.”6
Beloved, I believe that in these 10 verses the Lord reveals much to us about his glorious plan of redemption, a plan that includes at least four characteristics that I would like to share with you this week and next. We are going to see that his plan is predetermined. It is personal. It is perfect and it is preeminent.
This morning we will look at the first two. And, dear Christian, please hear this. These truths are both humbling as well as exhilarating and the more we understand them, the lower we will bow in humility, the higher will be the voice of our worship.
In fact, the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 12 at verse one that the greater our knowledge, the deeper our worship, the more faithful our service.
So my prayer is that these truths will utterly eclipse all of this nonsense about Easter eggs, baskets, bonnets, and bunnies. And that, instead, you will become forever captivated by the events surrounding the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, events that fit precisely into God’s sovereign plan which every believer is an undeserved trophy of his grace.
First notice how this plan was predetermined. In verse one he says, “These things Jesus spoke.”7
Now this is referring to the content that is recorded in the previous three chapters.
“These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘Father, the hour has come.’”8
Now what hour is he talking about? He is talking about the climactic hour of redemptive history when the Son of God would offer himself as a sacrifice for sin, when he would conquer Satan and death, when God the Father would make him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Beloved, this is the hour when the Son of Man would finalize his earthly ministry and his death and resurrection and ascension and coronation. This is the hour of which all of the prophets pointed to, the hour that fulfills all of the symbols and all of the types of the Old Testament, the hour when the old covenant would be replaced with the new.
This was a predestined hour, a predetermined hour. Peter would later preach to Israel concerning Jesus the Nazarene in Acts two verse 23 saying, “This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross.”9
Dear friends, never forget that every single event in history is part of God’s predetermined plan. He is a sovereign God. And here what Jesus is describing, what he is talking about with respect to this hour is part of that plan. In fact, Scripture spoke of this plan many, many years earlier in the prophets. For example, 700 years earlier the prophet Isaiah predicted the Savior’s vicarious suffering and crucifixion in chapter 53 that he would bear our griefs, that he would carry our sorrows, that he would be smitten of God and afflicted, that he would be pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities, that the Lord would cause the iniquity of us all to fall upon him, that the Lamb would not open its mouth even though he would be led to slaughter.
Another example, 600 years before in Daniel chapter nine verses 25 through six the Holy Spirit revealed to the prophet something that he didn’t even understand. He revealed to him that 483 years after Artaxerxes decree to Nehemiah that Messiah the Prince would be presented to the Jewish nation. That came out to be the precise date, April 10, 30 AD.
He also predicted there that the Messiah would be crucified. Likewise our Lord’s triumphal entry that many Christians celebrate today was predicted 500 years earlier. In Zechariah chapter nine and verse nine we read, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”10
Dear friends, what a magnificent reality here that our God is sovereign over all creation, that nothing happens outside of the purview of his will.
Isaiah tells us in chapter 46 verse nine, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’”11
And ultimately, dear friends, God’s dear pleasure, good pleasure is the saving of sinners, a plan that originates with God, a plan that is made possible solely by the grace of God, one that is brought to completion only by the power of God.
Now notice the text, once again, verse one.
He says, “These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.’”12
Well, obviously, there has been an arrangement made here, an arrangement made for mutual glorification one that, obviously is going to include the Son’s suffering and death.
But the question is: How can this bring glory to the Son and also to the Father?
We read on in verse four.
I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world [referring to the disciples]; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word.13
Now here we see that the Son is longing not just to once again enjoy the riches of his pre-incarnate glory with the Father and with the Spirit, but to enjoy the results of what he had come to accomplish, that work that he was sent to do, a work planned from eternity. And what was that? To seek and to save sinners. That is what he is praying for. That is the delight of his heart, for saints to come together one day and give glory to God, to the triune God. that is what is occupying his heart here even as he approaches the cross.
You see, he is praying for his work to be completed so that he can enter into the joy of all of the redeemed.
Has not the writer of Hebrews told us in Hebrews 12 and verse two that, “Jesus... who for the joy set before Him endured the cross”?14
Beloved, let this sink in for a moment. Think about this. As believers we are part of a predetermined plan that will not only bring joy to us, but bring both glory and joy to God.
In fact, the prophet Zephaniah tells us in chapter three and verse 17 that he exults over us with joy. The idea is that when we sing, he sings. Oh, what a wonderful Savior.
So obviously this speaks of a predetermined plan of mutual glorification. But notice also this is a personal plan. It is one that includes not only the divine persons of the Father and the Son as well as the Holy Spirit as we will see, but also all the specific individuals.
Now I want you to first notice that this plan includes what he has accomplished with his disciples. Verse six. He speaks of, “The men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world.”15
But will you also look at verse 20? He says, “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.”16
So this expands, now, to all believers. In fact, in verse 24 he goes on to say, “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.”17
Beloved, that includes us. Jesus was praying for us.
Now what is he saying here? He is saying that this predetermined hour of mutual glory for the Father and the Son is a plan that includes specific persons.
Let me summarize this for you, especially as we look at Scripture as a whole. When you combine these words that Jesus spoke with other passages of Scripture he is saying this, that in eternity past the Father ordained a plan to demonstrate his infinite love to his Son, a plan whereby he would choose for his Son a bride made up of undeserving sinners that he would save and transform by his grace. And this bride would be made up of specific individuals, people whom he chose by name. In fact, he even recorded their names in a book of life. These names would be the ones who would make up the Son’s bride, an elect group of redeemed humanity pledged to him as a gift of the Father’s love, a pledge that would be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. The Father would then intentionally draw unto himself and unto the Lord Jesus this great company of sinners through the convicting and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit resulting in them worshipping and glorifying the Father who chose them and drew them, worshipping and glorifying the Spirit who convicted and transformed them as well as the Son who purchased their redemption.
And central to this whole predetermined plan, this plan of inter trinitarian love and glory was the Son’s death. You see, he had to be the perfect substitute for sinners in order for them to be reconciled to a holy God. These are the ones to which Jesus refers here in verse six as well as verse 24 as those whom thou hast given me.
And, oh, dear Christian, be humbled, be exhilarated by these great truths. Through no merit of our own we were chosen by name in eternity past to be a part of the bride of Christ.
In Ephesians one verse four we read:
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.18
And in verse 11 he goes on to say, “We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”19
This is utterly staggering to think that our life and our eternity has been ordained by a sovereign God to fit perfectly into a predetermined and personal plan. And this is what consumes the heart of the Savior as he makes his way to the cross.
We are a part, dear friends, of a love gift from the Father to the Son.
Paul describes this in Titus chapter one. In verse one he speaks of us as those chosen of God and in verse two he says that we possess “ the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised [when?]long ages ago.”20
Literally before time began.
2 Timothy chapter one verse nine we read, “[God] has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,”21 the same phrase, before all... before time began.
Can there be a more humbling truth? Can there be a more motivating truth to stir our hearts to faith and obedience, to proclaim the majesty and the excellency of Christ in the gospel of God?
I think not.
So God the Father promised the Son a tangible expression of his infinite love, a bridal church who will one day according to Revelation 19:7, “Give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”22
Indeed, he chose this bride by name, personally and put those names in the Lamb’s book of life, Revelation 13:8, from the foundation of the world.
And eventually those chosen ones, those people would be born, born into sin, at enmity with God, unfit to be part of his holy bride. So consistent with the predetermined and personal plan, the Bible tells us that the Father compels each one to come to his Son with an irresistible grace. In fact, Jesus described this in John 6:37 as well as verse 39.
He says, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”23
Of course not. It is his bride.
He goes on to say in verse 39, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”24
And he went on to say in verse 44, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him,”25 elkuw (hel-koo’-o) in the original language. It means to irresistibly compel. It literally means to drag.
Beloved, if the Father had not drug us out of our sin and out of our stupor, we would have never come to him, because salvation is all of grace. The Bible teaches that the redeemed are those who were born not of the will of man, but of God, John one verse 13.
Salvation does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy, Romans 9:16.
But the Father’s drawing of sinners to the Son for salvation would have been meaningless unless the Son had purchased their redemption. This, of course, he did as part of the predetermined plan
Ephesians five verse 25 we read:
Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.26
What an amazing reality to think that we are part of a love gift from the Father to the Son.
Now while Scripture is filled with passages that speak of this incredible doctrine of sovereign election that Jesus is speaking of here in his prayer, I would like to read to you one of the best commentaries that I have ever read on the topic. It is an old commentary found in the Canons of Dort.
Give you a little Church history here. The Canons of Dort consist of statements of doctrine that were adopted by the synod of Dort which met in the city of Dordrecht, Netherlands in 1618 through 1619. And all this was a national synod of the reformed churches of the Netherlands, but it also had an international character in that it was also composed of not only Dutch delegates, but also of 26 delegates from eight foreign countries. The synod of Dort was held for a very important purpose and that was to settle a serious controversy that had arisen in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of an errant doctrinal system called Arminianism, an errant system that continues to plague the Church today.
And in article seven under the topic of election here is what we read.
“Election or choosing is God's unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:
Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation. And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ's fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.
God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace. As Scripture says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved. And elsewhere, Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified.”
Isn’t it amazing that all that the Father has chosen will come to him. He will see to it because it is part of his predetermined and personal plan.
May I remind you as we think about the personal nature of God’s plan for which Jesus is praying that God is not some kind of force of supernatural energy? It is not like the Star Wars people would lead you to believe. But our Creator God knows us as individuals. He knows us personally and loves us with an intimate personal love. In fact, he orchestrated our conception in our mother’s womb. Do you realize that? That is what Scripture teaches. He superintended our development and our birth.
Can there be anything more personal than that?
Moreover her has even ordained the length of our life. He goes on to say, “In Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”29
Beloved, before you were born God knew the color of your eyes. He knew the color of your hair, your skin, the sound of your voice, the shape of your face. He even knew that you would rebel against him, that you would violate his law, that you would reject him. And despite all of this, because of a predetermined and personal plan of redemption, Paul tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”30
A great example of the intimate personal nature of God’s compassionate plan to save sinners can be found, for example in Mark five. You don’t need to turn there. Let me remind you of the story.
You have a story there of a woman who had a hemorrhage that had been going on for 12 years. Because of this she was considered ceremonially unclean. For 12 years she would have not had any opportunity to even touch her husband or her children, to go to the synagogue, to go to the temple to worship. The text tells us that she had exhausted all of her resources on physicians and still had no cure. But she had faith in Jesus.
The text say that she thought to herself, “If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.”31
So in the story we read how that she makes her way through this massive crowd that is following Jesus. She slips up behind Jesus and the text says that she grabs a hold of the very end of his garment and she was instantly healed.
Now what is amazing in verse 30 of Mark five we read, “And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth...”32
Let me say that again. He perceived that power has proceeded from him. It has gone forth.
He then turns around in the crowd and he said, “Who touched my garments?”
Of course, he was not asking because he did not know. He knew precisely who she was. She was part of the predetermined personal plan. But rather he did this to draw her out so that he could interact with her as the lover of her soul, as her Savior, because now because of her faith she was in living union with Christ.
In Luke eight verse 46 again we read that Jesus said, “ I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”33
What an amazing reality.
Once again, can there be anything any more personal than this?
Dear friend, if you have trusted Christ as your Savior, please understand that you are not just some insignificant number, some insignificant part of a vast impersonal predetermined plan, but that the Lord Jesus Christ intimately and personally and powerfully and compassionately is involved in your life.
Scripture tells us that when we come to Christ we are made partakers of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4. The triune godhead literally dwells within us as Jesus said in John 14:23.
In Galatians 2:20 Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives [where?] in me.”34
Oh, my goodness.
He goes on to say, “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me,”35 the idea of me personally. “...and delivered himself up for me,”36 once again, personally.
In Luke 15 verse 10 we read that “here is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”37
Dear friends, God in his sovereign and perfect love determined that Jesus Christ would literally bear my sin and your sin personally in his body on the cross.
In John 10 verse 14 he says, “I am the good shepherd and I know my own.”38
Verse 15 he says, “I lay down my life of the sheep.”39
See, keep in mind. When Jesus came to die he did not just die in general, but he died specifically for you and for me personally. As a man he became my substitute.
You see, his atonement was a specific act of personal substitution for specific individuals. It was not some kind of a general act, this idea that Jesus died for everybody. It is just not a biblical concept. Jesus died for those who were chosen by his grace. He did not merely come to earth and die for no one in particular as some people would have us believe, that somehow he died for everyone in general hoping that somehow out of this vast group of humanity some would be wise enough to activate some potential atonement.
No, that is not what Scripture teaches. His plan is predetermined and it is personal. He bore the sins of every individual person who was chosen before the foundation of the world. This was his plan all along. His atoning work was never something dependent upon some decision that you might make or that I might make.
No, no, no. God in his sovereign love determined a group of people to be the bride of the Son in eternity past and he loved them specifically and he sent his Son to die on their behalf specifically as part of the love gift.
Now I want you to hear me say something. Dear friends, this is God’s plan. It is not your plan. Let me say it again. This is God’s plan, not your plan. The Father will never stand before the Son some day and say, “Well, now, Son, I know I made you a promise here that these people would come to you, but a lot of them decided they didn’t want to. And others decided they wanted to, but later on they opted out of the plan.”
That is not what Scripture teaches. You see, the Father made a promise to the Son. It was not a probability.
I can think of no greater truth to animate our worship and our service to the lover of our souls.
So with all of this in mind Jesus being equal with the Father yet distinct from him says to his Father, verse one, “The hour has come.”40
In other words, “Father, the precise time in our predetermined and deeply personal plan of redemptive history has come.”
“Glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.”41
Now it is interesting. We read on previous occasions Jesus had said that the hour had not yet come. His hour had not yet come. But now as he makes his way to the cross, it has arrived. Thus, the title of my discourse to you this morning, “The Glorious Hour.”
“Glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.”42
Surely, dear friends, you can see that God does not exist for man, but rather ... or the idea that man does not exist for God. But rather a some people would say but the idea that we do, in fact, exist for him. He is not the center of the universe as some people would have us believe, even as we hear from time to time in preaching that somehow, you know, God is just... is just orbiting around all of our needs, just desperate to somehow make you happy, but rather the reality is we exist for him. And that is what we see here in this text.
While it is true that we are all going to be glorified, we are all going to be sharing in the inheritance of Christ. Please bear in mind that our salvation frankly is secondary in God’s plan.
You see, God’s primary ruling passion is to demonstrate his infinite love to the Son and to see that he is glorified forever.
How tragic is this consumer Christianity that peddles the gospel as though it were some kind of cheap elixir that cures what ails you, as if Jesus came to suffer and to die to make us happy and successful and healthy and all of those things.
Beloved, never forget, the supreme and ruling motivation of God in the salvation of any man is his own glory.
So Jesus says, “Glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.”43
Jesus is saying, “Grant that by means of obeying your will, that through my death, resurrection, ascension and coronation that I might be glorified as the radiance of all of my attributes are put on display and as I redeem and purify the bride that you have given me.”
And, of course, the Father will grant that request to his only begotten Son.
And then notice that the inherent... that inherent in the plan is the Son’s passion to honor and glorify the Father.
Now how is this going to happen? Well, as we study Scripture we see that after the Son returns to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords and after he dethrones Satan the usurper and reigns for 1000 years, the Son will then give all that has been given to him. He will also even given himself back to the Father as a reciprocal expression of his love to the Father.
1 Corinthians 15 speaks of this, verse 24.
Then comes the end, when He [referring to Christ] hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.44
What a magnificent conclusion to this predetermined and personal plan. So there in the darkness of that late night as the hurting disciples went with Jesus towards Gethsemane, he intercedes on their behalf and on behalf of all of the elect acknowledging that the hour of glory had come.
Again, I would hope that you would agree with me that all of these incredible truths cause things like Easter eggs, baskets, bunnies and bonnets to be incredibly stupid.
Dear friends, if you have never placed your faith in the living Christ, I plead with you to do so before it is too late. And for those of you who know Christ, but who are hurting, maybe you are tormented by some great storm that seems to be threatening your life and maybe you are tempted to think that the Lord has forsaken you. I pray that you will meditate on these truths and find refuge in them because, beloved, herein is the hope that we have in Christ, that we are part of a predetermined and personal plan.
Father, thank you for these truths that resonate within our hearts, that thrill us, that ignite our hearts to worship and to praise and to faith and obedience. Speak to each person according to your will I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Matthew 21:9, 15.
3 John 14:1-3.
4 John 16:20.
5 John 16:33.
6 John 17:1-10.
7 John 17:1.
9 Acts 2:23.
10 Zechariah 9:9.
11 Isaiah 46:9-10.
12 John 17:1.
13 John 17:4-6.
14 Hebrews 12:2.
15 John 17:6.
16 John 17:20.
17 John 17:24.
18 Ephesians 1:4-6.
19 Ephesians 1:11.
20 Titus 1:2.
21 2 Timothy 1:9.
22 Revelation 19:7.
23 John 6:37.
24 John 6:39.
25 John 6:44.
26 Ephesians 5:25-27.
27 Psalm 139:13.
28 Psalm 139:16.
30 Romans 5:8.
31 Mark 5:28.
32 Mark 5:30.
33 Luke 8:46.
34 Galatians 2:20.
37 Luke 15:10.
38 John 10;14.
39 John 10:15.
40 John 17:1.
44 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.