“Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39). With this prayer, Jesus, the Son of God, willingly delivered His life to the Father. The Son puts Himself in the hands of the Father, and the Father hands Him over to His enemies. God’s enemies put His Son to death on a cross. Jesus delivers Himself to His Father; the Father delivers Jesus to His enemies; God’s enemies deliver Jesus to the Romans; the Romans crucify Him, thereby delivering Him to death. All this was God’s plan so that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God can be delivered from sin and death. This is what the body of believers, the church, remembers at the communion table. In 1 Corinthians 11:24, Paul records the words of Jesus on the night of the Last Supper, “This is my body, which shall be delivered for you” (Douay-Rheims).
As the treasured Son of the Father, Jesus Christ surrendered His will to the Father’s by coming down to earth. Here, He was put under the authority of death to conquer it. God the Father allowed His beloved Son to be possessed by death. Jesus, the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), obeyed the natural law of death and became subject to death.
In dying on the cross, Christ had to be possessed by death so He could go into hell and destroy the authority and control that death had in the world. According to Philippians 2:8, Christ, “humbled himself and became obedient to death.” He surrendered His superior power so He could be overcome by death. However, God would not let His “Holy One see decay” (Psalm 16:10), and He raised Him from death to life. Because He is the “firstborn from among the dead” (Colossians 1:18), we too can be raised in Him from death to life.
Photo by Greg Ortega
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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