January 02, 2017
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
A Great Contrast
“But he delivered Jesus to their will” Luke 23:25
“Not My will, but Thine be done” Luke 22:42
Contrast in Motives
The leaders delivered Him out of envy. Judas carried out his wicked deed for 30 pieces of silver and monetary advancement. Pilate delivered Him up for political expedience. All were concerned with either maintaining power, position, or prominence for self. Everything was motivated by a concern for self.
He was motivated by love for His Father. “That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:31). He was motivated by a care for others (Phil 2:3,4). There was nothing self-centered in His motives. The contrast between what motivated us and what motivated Him could not be greater. An ocean of meaning separates them into polar extremes.
Contrast in Measure
His will led Him into the storm of Calvary. There, amidst the vortex of the “perfect storm” of divine wrath, He was obedient to the point of death, even a cross death. Nothing could have been a greater test of His obedience to the Father’s will. Engulfed by the waves of judgment, finding no place of standing beneath His feet, overwhelmed as the floods rose against His holy person, the echo resounds from Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
Man’s will was expressed, as well, to its fullest degree. We were marked out as ruined in Eden. With the law we became rebels; in our treatment of Christ we became rejecters of God, displaying our desire to cast Him out of His vineyard and own it for ourselves. What grace that, knowing all this, the Father sent His well-beloved; and that the Son came!
Contrast in Manifestation
The expression of humanity’s will, of our will, is seen in how we treated the Son of God. A crown of thorns, a scourging lash, spittle and buffeting; fists and blasphemous insinuations. Our will displayed itself by taking the perfect Man Who ever lived, declaring Him unworthy of life, and impaling Him to a tree.
He manifested His will by enduring the cross and counting the shame a small thing in light of the joy He had in accomplishing the Father’s will (Heb 12:2). He manifested His will by praying for those who had nailed Him to the tree. Men hurled in His face, as though the greatest insult they could conjure up, that the One Who had saved others could not save Himself. His reply: He saved another, a thief by His side.
Our will was marked by hatred, violence, cruelty, and Satanically inspired madness. His will was marked by love, devotion, kindness and gentleness.
1. Think of other truths involved in the contrast between His will and ours.
2. What is the basic flaw in the human will by nature, and how does it contrast with divine will?