Bible Reading: Mark 14:1-25
Jesus knew that Judas was the one who was going to betray Him. And yet, He didn’t stop him from doing so. Why? Because He also knew that his betrayal would be used by the Father to accomplish His mission. Jesus came to die…to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. Judas would be a pawn in the hands of the Jewish leaders…to bring Jesus to trial, to convict Him, and to send Him to the cross. And yet, the Jewish leaders would be a pawn in the hands of God… to bring Jesus to trial, to convict Him, and to send Him to the cross. Had Jesus stopped Judas…then He would have been averting the Father’s plan.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Have you have ever lined Dominoes up in a row and then pushed the first one and watched them knock each other down…one after the other, after the other, after the other? You may not realize it…but that has become something of a competition over the last several years. People have set tens-of-thousands of Dominoes up in order to knock them down…in order to set world records. Here are few of those world records…
- Most Dominoes toppled by a group of people working together: 4,491,863
- Most Dominoes toppled by an individual person working alone:321,197
- Most Dominoes toppled in a spiral:84,790
- Most Dominoes stacked on one single piece:1,055
- Longest time of continuous Domino toppling:35 min 22 sec
- Largest Domino mosaic:1,011,732
- Highest toppling Domino climb:52 m
- Tallest Domino structure:17 m
- Most Dominoes toppled in one minute:75
- Most Dominoes toppled in a 3D-pyramid:18,445
- Most Dominoes toppled in a circle field:76,017
World records with special Dominoes
- Most miniature Dominoes toppled: 2,000
- Most Dominoes toppled underwater: 11,466
World records with everything else
- Longest human Domino line: 10,267
- Most coins toppled in a Domino fashion:12,349
- Most CD disc cases toppled in a Domino fashion:10,266
- Largest human mattress Dominoes:1,200
- Longest Domino drop shot:4,578
- Most mousetraps triggered in a line in a Domino fashion:1,508
- Most bricks toppled in a Domino fashion:165,384.
But sometimes it doesn’t work. Why? Well, all it takes is for one single Domino…to not be in place. You could have 20,000 Dominoes lined up perfectly. But if just one of them is not lined up correctly…then at that point the entire process would stop. I wonder…if that happened to you would you rather it be a Domino at the beginning, or a Domino at the end? Actually, it wouldn’t make any difference, would it? Either all the Dominoes were knocked down…or, they weren’t. And if your goal is to knock them all down…you would have failed, either way.
When we study the life of Jesus we find out that there were a lot of Dominoes lined up. What I mean is that there were a lot of things that had to happen perfectly, completely…in order for Jesus to fulfill His mission. If one, single thing had not happened correctly…He would not have fulfilled His mission.
What was the mission of Jesus? Jesus came…
- to live a perfectly sinless life
- so that He could offer Himself to God as a sacrifice to pay for our sins
- so that He could rise from the dead
- so that He could go to Heaven and prepare a place for us to go when we die.
Basically, we could say that Jesus came to provide a way for us to have our sins forgiven and to go to Heaven.
One of those things that had to happen was for Jesus to die on the cross. That was the judgment, the penalty for our sins…that He had to pay. Jesus knew that it was going to be a terrible, painful death.
- He knew that they would kick Him, and beat Him, and hit Him in the face.
- He knew that they would strike Him with a whip that had pieces of metal on the ends.
- He knew that they would make a crown out of long thorns and push it down into the skin on His head.
- He knew that they would drive nails through his hands and feet.
- He knew that they would stick a spear in His side.
He knew all of that. And…He knew how to keep it from happening.
There was something else that Jesus knew. He knew that one of His own disciples, Judas, would betray Him. Judas disagreed with what Jesus said His mission was. All along, Judas had wanted Jesus to establish a new kingdom, a new country, on earth. He thought that he could convince Jesus to do that. But then Jesus started telling the disciples that He was going to die and that He was going to establish a Heavenly kingdom. Judas didn’t want a Heavenly kingdom, he wanted an earthly kingdom. So, Judas came up with a plan…a plan that would force Jesus to start an earthly kingdom. He just knew that once his plan began to work…Jesus would catch on, He would realize that Judas was right and would change His mind. His plan was to pretend that he was working with the Jewish leadership. He would turn Jesus over to them. Then, once Jesus saw what they were going to do to Him…He would call on His disciples to rise up in rebellion and establish a new kingdom.
So, Judas made a deal with the Jewish authorities. He would show them where Jesus was…a place where no one but the disciples would see them…and they could secretly arrest Him. He could hardly wait for his plan to take place. He just knew that Jesus would call out to the disciples…they would come to His rescue…and there would be a revolt among all of the Jewish people. Then, Jesus would establish a new kingdom, an earthly kingdom.
But it didn’t happen that way. Oh, they arrested Jesus…just like Judas had planned. But then Jesus didn’t lead the disciples in a revolt. Instead, He went right along with the plans of the Jewish leadership.
- He allowed Himself to be arrested.
- He allowed Himself to be tried.
- He allowed Himself to be found guilty.
- He allowed Himself to be crucified.
This wasn’t what Judas had planned. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen. But now, there was no stopping it. But now, there would be no earthly kingdom. But now, Judas would always be known as the one who had betrayed Jesus. Judas couldn’t live with that. So he got a rope…tied one end high up in a tree on a limb and the other end around his neck…jumped off of a cliff…and hung himself.
Jesus knew Judas’ plan. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He knew so…from the very first day that He met him. And yet, He never did anything to stop him. Why? Because He knew that God was going to use Judas’ plan…as part of His own plan. God knew what would happen when Jesus was arrested. God knew that they would crucify Him. And that was a very important part of His plan. So, God used Judas’ plan…as part of His own plan.
Like the Dominoes…Jesus kept Judas in line with all of the other Dominoes that were part of God’s plan. He knew everything that was going to happen to Him…but you were worth it. Jesus loves you so much…that He was willing to go through all the suffering…so that you could be saved. He could have stopped Judas at any time that He wanted. But He didn’t want to. Because He wanted you to go to Heaven. Jesus had you on His mind…when He died on the cross.
Now, what are you going to do about that? Maybe you should start lining up your Dominoes…all of the things that are part of your life. Maybe you should make sure that you live your life in a way that tells Jesus how much you love Him and appreciate what He did for you. Are there any Dominoes that are out of line? Are there any Dominoes that would keep you from reaching God’s goal for your life? It really doesn’t make any difference if it is a Domino that is out of line now…or, one that will be out of line many years from now. Wherever it is…it could keep you from reaching God’s goal for your life. So, keep a close eye on your life. Make sure that everything is in line with God’s purpose.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,