Todays readings.. 2 Chronicles 18&19, Daniel 1, John 19
John’s gospel provides us with the most intimate account of events in the life or Jesus – especially of those in the final hours of his mortal life. We read today in his 19th chapter of how the soldiers broke the legs of the 2 crucified with him – to make sure they were dead before the Sabbath began (v.31) “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.”[v.33].
John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (v.26 – which is the way John refers to himself – without naming himself) then makes a significant declaration. “He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.” [v.35]. Let us believe – but when we declare that we do – we must act in ways that show we mean what we declare!
We must follow through with truthful words – and actions – throughout our lives. In his 20th chapter John makes a challenging statement – to us today – “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” [v.31] What kind of life? All those who believe, as John most evidently did, have no doubt that he means “eternal life” – beginning from “the last day” when Jesus returns to judge the world.
Let us finish by recalling the words of Jesus we read in John ch. 12 “the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life.” [v.48-50] Let us believe the words and commandments of Jesus – and acknowledge that John especially, who records them, “knows that he is telling the truth.”
It is also of heart-challenging value to remember the words of Jesus we read in ch. 6 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” [v.40]
And how close are we now to “the last day.”?