When taking trips, some like a tight schedule with a well-developed itinerary, while others prefer less planning and more surprises. You can probably think of examples of both. Today, as we start looking toward Easter Sunday and “The Road to the Cross”, I want to consider “Before the Journey”.
I. Before the Journey, the Agenda was Set
Read Luke 2:46-50
A. It was all part of a larger agenda – Jesus’ coming to earth was central of course, but a perfectly timed, perfectly executed part of the master plan.
B. We often don’t understand God’s agenda (v.48-50)
- We can draw encouragement from Joseph and Mary’s confusion-they lived as close as possible to Jesus, but still didn’t understand.
- He didn’t give them a “heads-up” that he would be hanging around for a few days after they left (often the case with us too).
C. He is gracious to us in the process – Luke 2:51
- He willfully submitted to them (imperfect as they were, He showed them patience in the meantime)
- For the next 18 years, He willfully chose to live under their authority
II. Before the Journey, the Law was the Standard
A. His life was “according to the Law” at birth – Luke 2:21-24
B. His life was “according to the Law” in day-to-day life – Luke 2:41
- The pattern He followed His whole life (even though He didn’t need forgiveness for sin, etc.)
- He specifically stated that the Law wasn’t to be abolished, but fulfilled (by the only One who could keep it)
- It meant He was the first sinless, perfect one
C. His life was “according to the Law” in Death – Hebrews 7:25-27
- Key to the gospel
- Key to the “Why did He have to die?” question
III. Before the Journey, the Requirements Were Rugged
Read Luke 4:16-21
A. He knew what He would have to endure – Isaiah 52:13-53:12
B. He viewed the journey as a “means to an end”
- Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus…for the joy set before Him endured the cross”
- Jesus worked with wood every day-did He ever look a timber and think about the day coming? I think so.
- The human side of Him could have even had a bit of dread, however,
C. He did it out of love…period
- We did nothing to earn His affection
- No person had kept the Law so perfect that He had to come as a contractual requirement
- John 3:16
- Love was the motive
- Love was the reason
A. May we accept that He freely offers salvation-it isn’t earned initially when we trust Him, or in danger of being retracted when we make mistakes
B. May we give thanks and live with joy!