Greg Laurie

If you have ever lost anyone suddenly, unexpectedly, you know exactly how devastating it is. It tears you up inside. You don’t even know if you will be able to survive it. It can seem like a fate worse than death.

This is how the followers of Jesus felt when He was taken from them and murdered in cold blood before their very eyes. We have the advantage of knowing the whole story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. But these first-century followers of Jesus were living it in real time. It was their hope that Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth, and they would rule and reign with Him. He was their Lord. He was their Master. He was their everything. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, without understanding why, He was betrayed by one of their own. And when Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished!” that is how they felt. It was finished. The dream was over. The end had come. But really it was just the beginning.

Everything was going according to plan—God’s plan. The incarnation was for the purpose of the atonement. Jesus was born to die that we might live. When the wise men came and brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the child Jesus, each one of those gifts had significance. They brought gold because He was a King. They brought frankincense, or incense, because He would be our high priest, representing us to God. And finally, myrrh was an element used in embalming, because Jesus was coming to die for the sins of the world.

Much has been said about who was responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. But it was the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God for Jesus to die—and to rise again.

Taken from “God’s Deliberate Plan” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).