Jesus willingly suffered and went to the cross for our sake, to redeem us from sin and to restore our relationship with God the Father. Jesus met opposition and hostility with grace and determination to accomplish his Father’s will. Can anyone treat Jesus with indifference? We either accept or reject his claims, and his promises with faith or with disbelief and contempt. The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity. The religious authorities sought to arrest Jesus because they could not accept his claim to be the Son of God. Jesus made two startling statements: that he was the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, and that the Jews did not know God but that Jesus alone knew him. He claimed to be in a unique relationship with God and to know him as no one else did. To the Jews this was utter blasphemy. This same choice is still before us. Either what Jesus said about himself is false, or what he said about himself is true, in which case he is what he claimed to be the Son of God.
No one could be unmoved for long when confronted with Jesus’ message. It caused division for many who heard it. Some believe he was a prophet, some the Messiah and some believed he was neither. The reaction of the officers was bewildered amazement. They went to arrest him and returned empty-handed because they never heard anyone speak as he did. The reaction of the chief priests and Pharisees was contempt. The reaction of Nicodemus was one of timidity. His heart told him to defend Jesus, but his head told him not to take the risk. There often will come a time when we have to take a stand for Christ and for the gospel. To stand for Jesus may provoke mockery or unpopularity. It may even entail hardship, sacrifice, or suffering. Are you ready to stand for Jesus and to defend the cause of the gospel?Read Day 6 Devotion by Cristy