THE PREDETERMINED HOUR, #664
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (JOH 12:23).
Psalm 72:3-4, 14 prophesies of this hour, "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor... He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight." As a result of our fall in sin, our blood is upon our heads, but as our blood is precious in His sight, He allowed that crown of thorns to be placed on His head. All of our sins were to be placed upon His head.
For our Lord Jesus Christ that hour of death was just as genuine as it is for any human being. Think of what He said in JOH 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?" He saw that hour of God's justice coming down upon Him as the penalty of our sins. He saw how He was to be emerged in the wrath of the Father as the penalty of our sin. His heart was filled with dread.
We read in PSA 72: 6-7, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth." This hour was ever before the Son from eternity. Every day there was the daily sacrifice, the offering on the altar of the lamb, which was to typify the sacrifice that He would make for His people.
TIT 1:2 says, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." The only one basis for that hope was in that sacrifice that the Son of God made in that hour. The Father's mind was reconciled to His elect with the pledge of Christ's sacrifice in the covenant of grace before the world began. When Adam sinned, outside of that covenant of grace between God the Father and God the Son, mankind would have been instantly annihilated. But the Father's mind was reconciled to His elect in that blessed hour that Christ has now come unto.
Look at 2CO 5:19, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." God's election was based on the foreknowledge of the Father from eternity. Look at 1PE 1:2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father." Elect means "chosen." It is speaking of the intimate, loving relationship as between a man and his wife. It was that intimate relationship that God had with His elect, from eternity. The love of the Father did not begin after He saw Adam fall. The Father's love for His elect predates time.
In 1JO 4:10 we read, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1PE 1:2 goes on to say how those elect are brought back into reconciliation with the Father. They are elect "through sanctification of the Spirit." It is not only that we look to Christ as having removed the penalty of sin, but also He is our sanctification. He has also cleansed us from the pollution of sin, and as Christ is formed in us, sin becomes abominable. And then it says: "unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." That love of the Father was electing us.
The hour spoken of in our text is the central theme of that blessed foreknowledge or eternal love of the Father. It was that hour of unconditional, humble obedience and the sprinkling of His precious blood that appeased the wrath of the Father against the sin of His elect and opened the door of grace for His people. Grace is the divine influence on the heart that reveals itself in our lives.
Therefore, the conclusion of 1PE 1:2 is "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." To be delivered from the power of sin, to no longer serve sin, but to be quickened by the divine influence of the Holy Spirit upon the heart.
This grace that was foreordained was given us in Christ Jesus before the world was. Look at 2TI 1:9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." If you and I had to rely on anything of ourselves in the way of having salvation, we would be of all men most miserable, but it is all based on His electing love, which He has looked upon that blessed hour of Christ, from all eternity. We need to understand the eternal nature of that hour. We need to understand the eternal nature of the love of God. We need to understand the eternal nature of His grace.
We read in REV 21:23, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." God was so glorified in such perfect obedience in that hour and now that becomes the light of heaven. The Father's eye is on that blessed hour, not only from eternity but unto eternity. The names of the elect are "written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" as we read in REV 13:8. The Father's eye was looking upon the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and therein you and I are not consumed. Therein Adam was not consumed. The Father did not destroy all mankind, because His eye was fixed upon the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
When our Saviour was circumcised He pledged to come to this hour as a debtor to do the whole law for His church. Christ Himself was circumcised on the eighth day, and that is where He became a debtor to do the whole law as we see in GAL 5:3, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." It was in that circumcision of Christ that He pledged to His church that He would fulfill every jot and every tittle of the law and that He would fulfill the Father's demands with perfect obedience. We are circumcised in the circumcision of Christ. Christ's perfect obedience is imputed to us by the circumcision of Christ. 2CO 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Look with me in COL 2:10, "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." It was equally essential for Christ to fulfill the law in our behalf as it was for Him to take the penalty of the law in our behalf, and that is what He pledged in His baptism. We are circumcised in His circumcision. We are baptized and buried with Him in baptism and we are risen with Him unto a newness of life.
Look what we read in MAT 3:13-15, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
For four thousand years after the gospel was first preached in the Garden of Eden, this hour was ever before Jesus. GEN 3:15 says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." We see the curse that God placed on Satan, and in that curse we see such a precious gospel proclaimed. That first proclamation of the gospel pledged Christ's victory over Satan by crushing His infernal head. But think how solemn the hour in which this was done because it also says, The Lord told Satan, "And thou shalt bruise his heel."
Satan's desire was to keep Christ from fulfilling the atonement on the cross. He tried to get Christ to take a short cut by telling Him, If you will just fall down and worship me, I will give you all the kingdoms of the world. The Lord had promised Him the kingdoms of the world as His reward for obedience, but Satan obtained the fall of man by the disobedience of the first Adam. Satan's whole forces of hell came against Christ in this hour to see if he could get Him to disobey. That would destroy the whole atonement, destroy the whole sacrifice and it would destroy the whole church of God.
As ROM 5:19 says, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." So the objective of Satan was tempting Christ to disobey. In that hour all the powers of hell were engaged against the Seed of the Woman to bruise His heal! As our Saviour hung on the cross, the Devil was hanging on His heals to drag Him down from the cross to defeat the Father's purpose in our salvation. He did not want to see that atonement brought to fruition. If we ponder what our Saviour went through, the agony and the dread are so overwhelming, no words can express it.
The serpent caught Eve alone and he got her to disobey, when he was able to catch her separated from her husband. Think of the hour of darkness when Satan knew that Jesus was forsaken of His Father. We read in MAT 27:46, "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
You and I will have some fellowship in the sufferings of Christ. Christ can so intimately relate to every temptation and the power of every sin because He was there.
The first Adam had fallen fatally through disobedience, and He gained nothing for it, but look how the second Adam obeyed under such conditions. In JOH 10:17-18 we read, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." It was in that hour that Satan's head was crushed, and Christ and His church gained the victory over Satan, sin, death and hell.
Jesus said in JOH 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled. "And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."
When He saw the cup that His Father gave Him to drink, He knew every dreg that was in there. He knew that Judas would betray Him. He knew that Peter would deny Him. He had told them both that they would do so. He told His disciples that He would be condemned by the chief priests and that He must die and rise again.
When wine is made, every time you pour the wine off the dregs remain behind. The sweet wine becomes sweet because the bitter dregs are left behind. Now these dregs, which are the symbol of the wrath of the Father, were in that cup for Him to drink so that you and I can drink the sweet wine at the communion service. That wine is the symbol of the blood of Christ. The wine is the symbol of our sanctification. As the dregs settle out, the wine becomes pure. As Christ drinks the dregs of the Father's wrath in our behalf, we have that sweet wine to drink, which is that work of sanctification, which makes us meet to be partakers with the saints in the inheritance of light.
ROM 16:26 says, "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." Jesus had covenanted from eternity, and the whole Old Testament church had died in faith looking forward to this hour. Can you imagine the test that now lay upon Him? If He would disobey, all those who died in faith would perish forever.
We read in HEB 11:24, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."
Others died in faith looking unto this hour as we read in HEB 11:36-39, "And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise." Can you imagine the powers of hell coming against Him and telling Him, Hey, what are you doing this for? These same people for whom you are dying, look what they are doing. They are cursing and swearing and denying they ever knew you. While He was hanging on the cross, and He said, Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing, He was praying for you and me. It was our sins that nailed Him there.
After the Apostle Paul had set forth all these monuments of faith, he directs our eyes to the imputed faith of Christ Jesus in HEB 12:1-2, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
The reward of His faith upon which Jesus had his eye is set forth in PHI 2:8-11, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
In LUK 22:41-44 we read, "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." He knew His Father could remove that cup, but He said, Not my will but thine be done.
We see in HEB 5:7-8, "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."
When the price you have to pay for obedience is the very blood of your life, then obedience becomes difficult. That is why we read in HEB 12:3-4, "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." You have not yet paid the price that He paid for sin. Do not pity yourself. Look to Christ. See what He suffered.
Look at ISA 63:3, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment." It was Christ's own blood that had to be trodden. It was His own submission to the will of the Father, giving Himself to be trodden. However, by having His eyes fixed on the glory that would follow, Jesus' faith was strengthened to endure His suffering. Sometimes we have to have our hour fixed on the time when we will be glorified in order to endure some of the trials we go through.
Look what we read in 1PE 2:7, "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner." Jesus seen by faith becomes the chiefest desire of the soul as we read in SON 5:10, 16, "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand . His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."
When that atonement that was made in that hour becomes ours, then Christ becomes our altogether lovely. Then there is nothing in sin that can appeal any more. Everything fades in the light of that blessed sacrifice and atonement and the resurrection of Christ. There is no other way to be reconciled with the Father.
We read in ACT 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
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