When Did Jesus Know He Would Die on the Cross?
Wednesday Night, October 27, 2021
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5–11).
Question: When did Jesus know He would die on the cross for humanity’s sins?
Main Point: Jesus is fully God and fully man. His divine and human are united to form one person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus’ two natures are not mixed, confused, divided, or separated, but are united together so that the characteristics of both natures are preserved in Jesus’ one person.
The Answer: Jesus, as God-incarnate, had complete access to all divine knowledge, but He intentionally did not access that infinite knowledge. Instead, He lived entirely human existence, and slowly He grew to understand His purpose as the Holy Spirit revealed it to Him.
I. Jesus is ‘God with Us.’ “Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…” (Philippians 2:6).
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
II. The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus, filled Jesus, and empowered Jesus throughout His life; in this way, Jesus can serve as the perfect example. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5).
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (Luke 4:1–14).
III. Jesus intentionally limited His divine knowledge and power and depended entirely on the Holy Spirit’s revelation and empowerment so He could serve as the perfect example. “He emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…” (Philippians 2:7).
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
IV. Jesus had a human body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, and human will. These human traits existed alongside Jesus’ divine mind, emotions, and will. “And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
“And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little farther, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:37–39).
V. Jesus was like us in every way, but without sin. “He emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Co 5:21).
VI. Jesus often said or did things as an example to His listeners. “They took away the stone. And Jesus lifted his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:41–42).
VII. Jesus had understood his mission and destiny by the time He was twelve years old. “And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. (Luke 2:49–52).
Conclusion: We have a wonderful Savior who is God-incarnate, but He also lived a perfectly sinless, human life and understands everything we experience.