John 12:27-28 “Now my soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
The predetermined plan of God to redeem for Himself a chosen people through the atoning death of Jesus Christ now takes center stage. Jesus has alluded to His impending sacrifice many times as He spoke to His disciples. Now, the final preparations are being made. Today would have been the day the Jews sacrificed their lamb just as their ancestors did long ago on the eve of their deliverance out of Egypt. “Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.” [Luke 22:7] If only the people had realized at the time that this would be the last time they would ever have to place their hands on the head of an innocent, spotless lamb and cause its blood to pour forth. Another Lamb was being made ready to give His life as a ransom for many [Matthew 20:28].
We see during this time both the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent at work in God’s providence. The enmity that was pronounced in the Garden of Eden is now coming to a glorious conclusion [Genesis 3:15] at a garden tomb. The head of the serpent is about to be crushed. The true Seed of the woman is about to be bruised for the sake of His own.
Jesus is prepared as the final and true Passover Lamb. We see this as He reclines at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany. During this final week Jesus and His disciples would stay in Bethany during the night and travel the short walk into Jerusalem each day. As He sits in fellowship with His followers and friends, a woman approaches. John tells us in his gospel that this woman is Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus and close friend of Jesus [John 11:1-3]. Her act of worship alone is astounding. O that I might give lavish adoration to my Lord even at great cost to things I would be tempted to hold dearest! But it is the Lord’s words in response to her act of worship that are of utmost importance.
As the sweet and extravagant perfume is still dripping down the Master’s head; as many of the guests look on in contempt; as many families were even at that moment making preparations for a lamb to be slain; the Son of Man speaks. “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me…For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare me for burial.” The Priest was being anointed to sacrifice Himself as the true Passover Lamb. Blood would indeed flow and sins would not simply be forborne but atoned for completely and eternally! One of the woman’s seed (a true worshipper of God) was preparing her Lord (the ultimate seed of the woman) for the final crushing of the serpent’s head.
Shortly after this event we find a seed of the serpent, Judas Iscariot, approaching the chief priests with a most wicked question, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” That crafty serpent, the Devil, has made his play and set into motion events that would lead the Lamb to the slaughter. The Serpent and his seed have prepared themselves to strike at the heel of the Savior. His bruising brought death to the power of sin. His bruising brought life and peace to His elect. God’s sovereign purpose of striking the hammer of wrath upon the head of His dear Son so that He might bring many sons and daughters to glory is close at hand!
Let us see today the strong and good hand of the Lord at work in this world and in His church to bring about His good purposes. A kingdom is being built as we worship our Risen Savior. A kingdom is being built even by the hands of those who would try to tear it down stone by stone.
1 Peter 2:4-6 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”