Facing the facts
During lockdown, we have all had to face the fact that life will be different, for at least some time and that has not been easy for many people.
If we are honest, there are times when we would rather not face the facts but hide our heads in the sand
Jesus was not like that; he willingly faced the fact that his mission on earth was to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)
In our home we have a lent candle, with aspects of Jesus on it for each of the 40 days. Today it reads “gave his life willingly”
In Luke 9:51 we read: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Jesus knew his destiny, he resolved to go in the direction of the cross, and nothing would stop him.
The gospel of John points to another vision of what was to come, but Jesus willingly continued his journey to the cross…
In John 17 we see Jesus at prayer – a very personal and deeply moving scene
John 18 v 1 – 11 “Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley”
• The Kidron Valley separates the Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount
• The Kidron Valley is commonly regarded as the Eastern boundary of Jerusalem.
• King David crossed the valley to escape Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:23
• The valley was used for the destruction of idols (1 Kings 15:13 / 2 Kings 23:4,12 /
2 Chronicles 29:16 / 2 Chronicles 30:14)
• The east side of the valley was used to bury the dead (Jeremiah 31:40 / 2 Kings 23;6)
• The brook Kidron runs through the valley
• The name Kidron means: black, sad, gloomy, and so it was for Jesus as he crossed the valley towards arrest, trial and crucifixion
In John 18:1 we read that “Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley”
The Temple Mount was a hill with a flat limestone surface and some suggest that the drainage system took the water and blood from the altar straight down and into the Kidron Valley.
30 years after Jesus, a census was taken and it was discovered that 256,000 lambs would have been sacrificed in the temple during Passover
When Jesus walked through the Kidron valley towards the cross, the sight seen by him would have been water, red with blood from the Passover Lamb offerings, flowing down from the temple, particularly as it was Passover
Jesus saw a graphic picture of what lay ahead for him (see John 19:34)
Even then, Jesus continued his journey
To further understand the importance of John’s account of Jesus crossing the Kidron Valley we need to remember that when John was baptizing, he announced that the Messiah had come, He was Jesus. John 1 v 29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God’, who takes away the sin of the world!” John is the only Gospel writer to use the phrase “the Lamb of God”
Right from the start, John knew that Jesus was the “Passover Lamb” of God and the destiny of Jesus
Jesus “faced the facts”. He came to teach the gospel, to live the gospel and to pay the price for our sins – Isaiah chapter 53.
Nothing was going to change the mind of Jesus, real determination, real love.
Take time to think about what that means for you today.
Rev. David Hughes