March 2011 - Vol. 48.

Crucifixion, painting by Michael O'Brien
Jesus: A Portrait of Obedience to the Father

by Jeanne Kun

Beguiled by Satan’s lies, Adam and Eve fell into his trap and disobeyed God’s command. As a consequence of their fall, sin came into the world through them – “and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Romans 5:12). Adam and Eve – whose name means “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20) – are called the parents of the human race, yet ironically they also brought death to it. Through sin, human beings suffered more than merely a physical death, but also a spiritual death – separation from God and the impossibility of everlasting life with him. 

If by Adam and Eve’s defeat humankind fell into the bondage of death, so by another human’s victory – that of the Word-made-flesh in Jesus – we rise again to life. By Jesus’ total submission to the Father, even to death, the human race was redeemed; our relationship to the Father restored, and we are able to share again in eternal life: “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men” (Romans 5:18).

In his cycle of poems about God’s plan of salvation and his Son’s incarnation,. John of the Cross imagines a conversation in which Jesus expresses his obedience to his Father’s will to rescue us from eternal death:

My will is yours, the Son replied,
dear Father, and my glory is
that your will should be always mine;
no greater joy to me than this.

And I find it fitting, Father,
what you, the All-highest, say,
for your goodness and your mercy
are more visible this way. . . . 

I will go seeking my own Bride,
taking upon myself the care,
the weariness, the labours she
has borne in her long waiting there.

And so that she, my Love, may live,
for her dear sake I’ll gladly die,
drawing her back from that deep place
I’ll bring her safe to you on high.

Read and prayerfully reflect on these additional Scripture passages that describe how Jesus acted in trusting obedience to God:
 Then I said, “Lo, I come;
  in the roll of the book it is
   written of me;
 I delight to do thy will,
   O my God;
  thy law is within my heart.”
 (Psalm 40:7-8)

[Jesus] fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:38-39)

[Jesus said:] “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18)

Being found in human form [Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)

Jeanne Kun is President of Bethany Association and a senior woman leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. 

This article is excerpted from God's Promises Fulfilled, The Word Among Us Press, Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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