I was retiring. The Air Force had approved the paperwork and set the date. Unfortunately, that didn’t get me out of some formalities of paperwork. Once you have been in for a while, your record goes before promotion boards. The single most important part of that record is called a Promotion Recommendation Form. The single most important part of that form is a little checkmark placed next to the phrase, “Definitely Promote.” If it is one of the years your record will go before the board, you will receive a copy of that worksheet. The hand-back can be a joyful or awkward occasion. I had to go through it one more time. I already knew what the recommendation would be; I had to go through it anyway. To ease the awkwardness, I told my boss that it was ok – I had retirement orders in hand and no desire to stay. Sure enough, “Definitely Promote” was not checked. Formalities.
God already knew the outcome of everything before it even happened. God did the things He did anyway. Even when it caused Him pain. Imagine the pain of having a traveling companion for three years, a man who knew many intimate things about you, betraying you one night without warning? Jesus knew that would happen before He ever called Judas Iscariot to be His disciple. Despite the pain, Jesus did it anyway. How do we know this? Look with me at Acts 1:16, 17.
“Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry.”
When Judas betrayed Jesus, it was no surprise. The text tells us that David penned the words some thousand years beforehand. Not that the words were of David, but the Holy Spirit, God, had David write them.
When Jesus went to the cross, it was not a mistake, nor was it an emergency back-up plan that God had to put into place. All of it was known, even before the foundation of the world. The church was, and still is, that important to Jesus, to God.
Jesus went to the cross knowing full well what would happen. He did it anyway. Today, we do not commit the same sin Judas did 2,000 years ago. But that sin that we committed this morning driving to work, or the one this afternoon at work talking about old Joe, Jesus knew you would do those too. He died for you anyway, not as a formality, but a labor of love.
Would you sit down with me over an open Bible and study the great things Jesus has done for humanity? The Church of Christ at Scott City would love for you to drop by on Sunday at 9:30 or 10:45. I hope to see you there!