One Saturday (Sabbath) my husband and I were watching The Gospel of John one of my favorite movies about the life of Jesus (the other is Jesus of Nazareth). I made the comment, “No wonder God was well pleased of Jesus. He was the perfect Son.” My husband agreed. I said this as I watched Jesus giving His disciples final instructions and telling them things they needed to know before His arrest, trial and crucifixion.
Jesus was an obedient Son to His Father and to His parents Joseph and Mary. Luke 2:51 tells us, And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.
Jesus was an obedient Son to His Father. Last week Sabbath my husband and I were watching the movie, “The Gospel of John” and it hit home just the kind of Son Jesus was. He was focused on doing what the Father had sent Him to do.
He followed His Father’s example, something which parents want their children to do. “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” We must lead by example.
God is the ideal Father which is why it wasn’t a problem for Jesus to go out of His way to do His will. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to [them], even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” God was happy to show Jesus the work that would bring so much joy and healing to many.
It pleased God to see His Son doing what was expected of Him. At the river when John the Baptist tried to prevent Jesus from being baptised, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” Jesus explained to him why it was important for Him to take this step. He said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires” (John 5:21, NLT). When Jesus came up from the water, His Father was happy to send the Holy Spirit down to Him and to declare, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
It has always been Jesus’ desire–to carry out all that His Father required of Him. Paul said that Jesus And being found in fashion as a man, “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
I always think about when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethesemane and how much agony He was in. The prospect of being separated from His Father because a righteous God cannot be in the presence of sin was really daunting for Jesus. He and His Father had been One since the beginning–inseparable. Now they would be separated as our sins cover Jesus as He hangs on the cross and receives God’s wrath.
In the Garden, Jesus knelt down and prayed. One Bible commentary makes this interesting point which brought tears to my eyes, “The usual manner of prayer at that time was to pray in a standing position. That Jesus knelt down proves the violence of His struggle in Gethsemane” (Geldenhuys). O precious Saviour, the agony You endured for not only my sake but for the sake of the world.
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me.” The cup Jesus is talking about here is a bitter cup. One that He should not have had to drink from. It is the cup of God’s fury. We read in the Old Testament that a cup is a powerful figurative of God’s wrath and judgment:
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out; surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down. (Psalm 75:8)
Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord The cup of His fury; you have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and drained it out. (Isaiah 51:17)
For thus says the Lord God of Israel to me: “Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.” (Jeremiah 25:15)
This is the cup Jesus was given to drink. He became a Sinner, an enemy of God when He offered to die for our sins. He would drink from the cup of wrath so that we would not have to drink from it. Taking this cup was a source of great agony for the righteous and sinless Son of God yet, He submitted to His Father’s will, resolving, “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
After He said that, He prayed even more earnestly. So earnestly that His sweat were like drops of blood. In answer to His prayers, God sent an angel to minister to Him. God did not take the cup away from him. Paul explains why. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19, 20). In the Garden of Gethsemane, God gave His Son the strength He needed to take and drink from the cup. He gave Him the strength to finish His mission.
Jesus said, ““Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17, 18). Jesus has the power over life and death but His death or His sacrifice on the cross was voluntary. He willingly gave His life to be a ransom for many. He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Jesus went through with the plan of salvation which required Him to submit to death from which He rose from. He followed the command He received from His Father.
Jesus accomplished all that His Father had sent Him to do. He was able to say, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:1-5).
Jesus is the perfect Son because He laid down His life for us out of love for His Father who loved the world so much that He sent Him so that all those who believe in Him (Jesus) would not perish but have everlasting life. A Son who would lay down His life for a world in which some of the people would not receive Him; would reject Him is the kind of Son any father would be proud of. And that is why it gave God great pleasure to say to His Son, “Sit at My right hand” (Acts 2:34). The author of Hebrews and the apostle, Peter share these sentiments. “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool” (Hebrews 10:12, 13); “…Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:22).
Jesus is the perfect example of how God’s children should be–humble, obedient, forgiving, compassionate, selfless and willing to serve others. Jesus once said who are truly his brothers and sisters. “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21).