Jesus was handed over by the determinate plan and forethought of God … and put to death. But God raised him up again … since it was impossible for him to be held in death’s grip. Acts 2:22–24
In the midst of busyness and betrayal, in the heart of chaos and corruption, during the darkest hour, when we suspect that the sun will never rise again, we can banish despair and desperation. God is at work behind the scenes. He is the Author who is telling his story. From our point of view as characters, we barely comprehend what is happening as it happens. The Author, however, has a plot in mind. He has thought long and hard about how the story will progress. When we consider what we’ve already read, we can infer enough to encourage us when he writes us into corners. Just as with Abraham, Joseph and Daniel before him, God wrote Jesus into a corner. When he went to Gethsemane, he knew Judas would betray him. He knew all the others would abandon him. He even struggled to assure himself that the Father would not, and that the joy set before him would be sufficient to enable him to endure the shame and agony of the cross. It wasn’t fatalism that moved him forward; it was faith forged by the hammer of prayer on the anvil of history: confidence that the God who redeemed Isaac, delivered Israel, and shut the lions’ mouths would reconcile creation through him as he’d been promised.
Sovereign God, grant me enough joy in the wisdom and certainty of your plan that I will follow Jesus in the obedience of faith today.
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