Q: When Jesus knew they were coming to arrest him, why didn’t he run?
A: Great question! In his place, I’m pretty sure I would have.
Jesus himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that God the Father would spare him the agony of dying on the cross. “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” But he immediately continued, “yet not what I want but what you want.” (Matthew 26:39)
There is the answer. Jesus was agonizingly aware of the suffering and death that awaited him, but he was so committed to obeying God’s will for him that he refused to save his own skin. When one of his followers attacked those who came to arrest him, Jesus said, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”
For Jesus, completing God’s saving mission made suffering and even death worth the price.
This post is part of our “Stump the Pastor” series published monthly in our Faith Matters newsletter.