the freedom, dread, and love of the cross
"In the course of the meal He said, 'I assure you, one of you is about to betray Me.' " —Matthew 26:21
Jesus knew beforehand that He would die by crucifixion (see Mt 16:24). He knew He would be mocked and flogged (see Mk 10:34). Jesus knew He would be betrayed by Judas (Mt 26:25), denied three times by Peter (Mk 14:30), and abandoned by His apostles (see Mk 14:27). Jesus also knew the man at whose house He would celebrate the Passover (Mt 26:18).
Jesus' foreknowledge of several details surrounding His Passion, death, and resurrection indicate that Jesus was not a victim of circumstances. Jesus intentionally decided to suffer and die for love of us. He could have stopped His suffering and death at any time. Jesus freely decided to love us — even to death on the cross.
Jesus' foreknowledge may have also added to His pain and suffering. For example, yesterday I went to the doctor. The doctor ordered me to undergo some tests and procedures I had not expected. Because I was already sick, these were agonizing. I thank God that I didn't know they were coming. I would have dreaded them. But Jesus knew the details of His coming sufferings. That was a burden He carried for years. It was a great, continuous suffering prior to His greatest suffering. This indicates again how great is the love the crucified Jesus has for us.
Prayer: Jesus, by Your grace I will lay down my life for You.
Promise: "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back." —Is 50:4-5
Praise: Although nearly unable to walk because of arthritis, Katherine keeps the faith and spreads it to others.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001