Prophecy and The Word
54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
The verse above in one that is commonly passed over or ignored. Most people focus on the verse before because it speaks of angels and the power and authority that Jesus had within himself. But verse 54 is actually a very interesting verse to think and meditate on.
We know that there are many prophecies in the Bible. Many of them are actually pointing to Jesus himself. It is these prophecies that Jesus is mentioning here in this verse.
What Jesus is saying is that he cannot save himself because the prophesies in the Bible say that it needs to go in this way. That sounds simple enough until you realize that Jesus himself, as the Son of God, is actually the force and mind behind those prophecies when they were made. It was God who inspired the prophets to speak those words. So the question then becomes, why does Jesus talk as if he were somehow trapped by those words?
He could have chosen any prophecy to give to the prophets. He could have inspired the Bible to say anything. God was never stuck in terms of what the future could be. So why does Jesus say those words of verse 54?
The crying at Gethsemane should help us here. Before Gethsemane, Jesus was very sure of his future. He would give up his life for us and then resurrect after three days. It was always very simple when he spoke about it but at Gethsemane, that changed. Suddenly, Jesus was scared of his future as the weight of sin and the separation it causes with God fell on him. Now we had a Jesus who was pleading for something else to happen instead of what was prophesied. This shows us the very human side of Jesus.
Going forward to verse 54 now, we see a Jesus who has once again decided and focused on the original plan- as stated in the prophesies. The reason behind that focus is different now however. Before Gethsemane, Jesus was sure of the plan because he was in constant contact with the Father who guided and assured him. After Gethsemane, seemingly disconnected from his Father, Jesus now depends wholeheartedly on the Word of God and the prophets. Jesus at this point is very much like us. All his faith is not in that constant voice of his Father but in the written words of God.
Jesus shows us here that the Bible truly does have power to give us strength and courage to continue moving forward. Let us always depend on God’s words just as Jesus did there in the garden.
Pr. Steven Couto