*Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan, y’all!
Jesus was doing amazing things, casting out demons and healing the sick. When he was alone with his disciples, he said to them, “Let these words sink in. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men” (9:44). Let these words sink in, consider this, think on this, wrap your mind around this, wrestle with this truth . . . Though he had already told them about his death, Jesus tells them again, knowing that they have not yet fully grasped what he told them.
This is an amazing thing, that the Son of Man, who has taught only truth and has done so much good, would be betrayed and murdered. That's hard to grasp. But maybe even more difficult to sink in is the truth that by his death he will bring freedom and salvation to his people. We often hear, “But everyone is responsible for his own sin! How could one die for another?” And each time, we say, “Yes, that’s the amazing news of the gospel, and that’s why it’s such good news. Another has died for us so that we do not have to die and face the wrath of God!” It almost seemed as if the news was too good to be believed. They couldn’t grasp it. They wouldn’t grasp it. But this is the good news! And for those in Christ, every day is Hari Kemerdekaan! Freedom from sin and from death!
He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but such disdain! So few
the longed-for Christ would know!
But oh, my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend! -- Samuel Crossman (1664)
*On August 17, the country of Indonesia gained its independence from the Dutch.