John 18 … Consider Him Who Did Not Turn Back

So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth… (18:4).

It’s a struggle for me, every time I come to this part in the Gospels, beginning with the betrayal and the downward spiral of events leading to His excruciating death.

I confess I want to turn back, back to His miracles and His love demonstrated, His teachings and wisdom imparted, His prayers for, well yes, for me. Or if I don’t turn back, I want to skip ahead to the scene at the empty tomb, to somehow go around the very event that delivered me from my own excruciating and eternal death.

And I stand humbly in awe, and convicted, knowing I would never have gone forth, I would have turned back. But as I see Him today, I am fully persuaded of my standing in Him, my standing as forgiven and declared righteous because although knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, He refused to falter and Did Not Turn Back.

Consider Him Who Did Not Turn Back

  • He Did Not Turn Back and would drink the cup the Father had given Him.
    • “…the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (18:11).
      • For a cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams;
        It is well mixed, and He pours out of this;
        Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs,
         (Psalm 75:8).
      • Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger;” (Revelation 14:9-10).
      • The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath, (Revelation 16:19).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He would be betrayed by one of His own.
    • And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them, (18:5).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He would be unjustly arrested and bound as a criminal.
    • So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, (18:12).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He would be subjugated to the cross-examination of the self-righteous.
    • The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching, (18:19).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He would be struck and wrongfully mistreated.
    • When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” (18:22-23).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though one of His closest friends would deny Him three times.
    • Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” …Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed, (18:17, 25-27).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He knew the kind of death He would die.
    • So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” 32 to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die, (18:31-32).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He would be rejected by those He came to save.
    • But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber, (18:39-40).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, though He knew He would be forsaken by His Father.
    • About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, for He emptied Himself in humility and obedience.
    • …Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, (Philippians 2:5-8).
  • He Did Not Turn Back, for the joy set before Him …our salvation.
    • Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2).

How do we respond to Him Who Did Not Turn Back?

He knew all the things that were coming upon Him… and still He Did Not Turn Back… that we would be saved.

How can we turn back from Him Who Did Not Turn Back? Let us not shrink away from pondering all our salvation cost Him. Let us not merely seek His blessings and healings, but may we desire to know Him, and to grow to become like Him, no matter the cost.

 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead, (Philippians 3:7-11).

May we never forget all He endured as we commit our lives to Him Who Did Not Turn Back.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart, (Hebrews 12:3).

Let’s Grow Together!

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