Read John 12
Remote healing. Yes, socially distanced healing.
He had me at water to wine. What gives?
Not everyone saw every miracle, but by this point there were thousands upon thousands of first-hand witnesses and testimonies galore. OBTW—the evidence from that resurrection was still walking around. There was a plan afoot to kill him, but as far as we know, it was never implemented.
Yes, some of these miracles, these mighty acts of God, just happened to occur on the Sabbath. None of the rule-makers could answer the question if it was permissible to do good on the Sabbath. Well, they could have answered, but if they answered truthfully, accepting Jesus as the Christ would have to follow.
John tried to add some context and perspective from the Prophet Isaiah.
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
But still, the question does not answer the blindness of the Pharisees and other religious leaders. Again, we visit Isaiah.
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
Isaiah spoke these words not so much because of the apostacy of God’s Chosen People but because of the glory of God that would come into this world. Isaiah was speaking about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus willingly became the sacrifice for our sins, but he would not kill himself. He would not take his own life. He gave it freely but someone must be the instrument of execution. A people blind to the glory of God and a people prone to violence were just the perfect combination and perfect historical timing.
For as much as the religious hierarchy despised the Romans, they made perfect coconspirators to murder. The Lamb of God would be sacrificed for our sins. He gave his life freely but somebody had to do the dirty work. Somebody had to kill him.
For all of the blindness to the cosmic pieces that had fallen into place to shed blood for the forgiveness of sins, some did believe on the Son of Man before he went to the cross. They didn’t have the backbone to go public. It seemed that the Sanhedrin and the Romans both knew how to wield fear as a broadsword.
But some believed.
Jesus had taught his followers and those who gathered to hear him teach that they—we—were to put his words into practice, but here he says that failure to do so does not result in condemnation.
Jesus came to save and salvation came in belief. Don’t discount discipleship but realize that your scorecard is voided and belief is what saves. You know the words: Saved by grace through faith so no man may boast.
The invoice for our sin was soon to be nailed to the cross even as Jesus spoke. He would not do away with the law, but because of the law, that invoice had charges to our account that we never even knew about. The blood of Jesus would pay everything on that invoice.
I frequently look at my credit card charges online because I can and because I have had to replace my card half a dozen times or more due to fraudulent charges. That said, I scrutinize every charge. Sometimes, I come across something that looks strange, then find out that it was in fact my charge.
It’s sort of the same with our transgressions. We forget some too easily. We all fall short, but the blood of Jesus took care of those charges.
But what Jesus charges us to do is believe. We may not get the hang of discipleship right away. The disciples didn’t even get the hang of discipleship until they received the Spirit.
Some people never seem to pick up on living in thankful and loving response to God’s grace, but salvation is in belief.
There will come a time when we will also answer for our discipleship. There will come a time when we will stand in judgment not by the law, for the law has already found us guilty and we received a death sentence. Jesus paid that debt for us.
It’s not that the law was set aside. The law found us guilty and the only one ever to fulfill the law stood in our place to take our punishment. In so doing the unblemished Lamb was offered as an eternal sacrifice for our sins.
We will stand and answer for abiding in the words of our Master.
Did we believe him to be the Son of God? If we can’t answer this in the affirmative, we will be judged by the law than none of us can fulfill.
But for those who believe, expect to answer this. How did we live in response to knowing he is God’s one and only Son who died to take away our sins?
Unlike those 2000 years ago, we are not waiting to see what happens next. It’s happened. It’s time to believe that in the blood of Jesus our sins are washed away and quit living to be saved, but live fully for Christ because we are saved.