Jesus’ Perfect Plan
When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them John 12:36.
In my early Christian life I had enormous difficulty with this verse (as well as a similar one in John 8:59). Why would Jesus hide Himself? If He was the eternal Son of God, why was He acting like someone who was scared?
The motivating power in Jesus’ life in this passage (as well as John 8:59) was not fear but the desire to fulfil the Father’s plan perfectly. He knew the culmination of His earthly ministry would be death on a cross, but the timing was crucial. He had to die at the very moment faithful Jews were slaying their Passover lambs. He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
God had instituted Passover almost 1600 years earlier as a type and picture of His provision of a lamb that would be sacrificed for the nation, sacrificed in place of the nation, carrying the nation’s sin.
But Passover occurred on one particular day in each year. For Jesus’ sacrificial death to have the fullest meaning and impact, He would have to die on the same day and at exactly the same time lambs across the nation were being killed. So in the last few days before Passover, Jesus carefully guarded His steps.
Our verse above happened the day before His arrest. His arrest had to occur early the next day for His death to be at the perfect time. So Jesus hid himself, not out of fear, but to fulfil His Father’s plan with meticulous perfection.
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