Advent Scripture Calendar

13) It is not just about us

Rev Henk Poot - 10 December 2021
Friday 10 December  

John 11:45-53

‘In order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.’ (NASB)

The news that Jesus had raised a dead person spreads like wildfire through Bethany and Jerusalem. For many people, this is the proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah. With the resurrection of the dead, the end times have begun. At this point, the Sanhedrin convenes and expresses its concerns. If the performance of signs by Jesus leads to a large popular movement with all kinds of ideas about the coming of a new king, the council foresees a confrontation with the Roman occupiers.

Caiaphas advised the council to condemn Jesus to death. After all, it is better for one man to die for the people than for there to be a great bloodshed. John points out that the high priest, perhaps without being aware of it, was uttering a prophecy: Jesus would die for the people.

We understand this very well in the Church. Jesus died for the people, for us, for our sins. However, it says something else! It says that Jesus also dies in order to be able to gather the scattered children of God. Of course, John is not yet thinking of all those Christians who are scattered here and there. He is thinking of the scattered Jews. Just as in the time of Moses, the death of the Passover Lamb brought judgment on the gods of Egypt and marked the beginning of the exodus (Exodus 12:12), so the death of Jesus will put an end to the exile of all Jews.

That is what God had promised. For example, in the famous prophecy of Isaiah 11. Just read what it says in verse 12: ‘He will gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.’ And perhaps we should also think of Ezekiel again. After the resurrection in chapter 37 comes the ingathering of the tribes of Israel.

As we await the return of Jesus in the days of Advent, let us not forget all that He will do for His own people, Israel.

We give thanks that You are going to fulfil all that You have promised to Israel. Give us a heart that expects this with joy.

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