A Protected Plan
God has a plan for my life, your life and everyone's lives. I believe, I will always be in His family, since I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. My prayer is that I remain in His favor. I tend to be like Paul and muck things up from time to time, doing what I know I should not being doing. Thank the Lord for His mercy, forgiveness and grace!
There are times in every believer's life that hardships arrive. Jesus promises just the opposite from a bed-of-roses for those who sign-on to be disciples. It's bad enough that the believer deals with questioning his/her own faith at times. There are some instances where people will hate you to the point of desiring and possibly pursuing your death because of your faith.
Fear not. Jesus experienced this questioning of the plan of God in the Garden of Gethsemane and before that night experienced many attempts on His life before His sacrificial mission could be completed by fearful, angry leaders of His own people that should have known better.
The following is a snapshot of the instances in which Father God's plan for Jesus was threatened by attempts to end the life of Jesus early but failed.
Jesus proclaimed that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy He had read aloud to everyone at that very moment. Jesus is not only driven out of town but the mob intended to throw him off a cliff for the declaration He made. However, Luke reports "But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way."
Matthew 12:1-14 and John 5:1-18
Jesus deals with the traditions of the Pharisees, especially on the Sabbath, being favored over The Word of God in both of these accounts. In the Matthew passage, the disciples of Jesus were picking grain to eat and in response to the kind of work done on the Sabbath, Jesus showed compassion and healed a man with a shriveled hand. "But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus."
The instance in John 5:1-18 dealt with not only the Pharisees traditions of working on the Sabbath for Jesus healed a cripple man, but Jesus calling Himself equal with Father God. Again, for these things Scripture states "For this reason they tried all the more to kill him;".
Here is where Jesus comes flat out and says who He is - the I Am. This is a name of God that depicts God as having always been in existence and Jesus equates Himself with that God. It is no wonder the religious leaders of that day attempted to call His bluff, at least at first. As C.S. Lewis said and I paraphrase - Jesus was either a liar, lunatic, or Lord. However, the leaders did more than try to call his bluff, they were not only enraged at this idea, but threatened because their precious positions of power and fame could be lost. So, John records "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds."
Again, here is another instance when Jesus equates Himself with God. Jesus tries to convince the crowd that His works are proof of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, but the people are not hearing it and "Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp."
One might think that raising a dead man after four days of being dead would convince the Pharisees, it did not. They saw Jesus as a special kind of threat to their positions of religious "power" and "Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples."
This account records Christ's holy zeal for the house of God to be used as a place of prayer. Jesus not only quotes Isaiah 56:7 - "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." But in addition, Jesus pointedly tells them they are even price gouging or robbing their clients, Jesus said - "But you have made it a den of robbers." The crowd was amazed at his teaching but enter the Pharisees again and they were afraid and "began to look for a way to kill him".
Using a parable and Scripture concerning the Cornerstone being rejected, Jesus tells the Pharisees the kingdom of God will be taken away from them and given to a people who will produce kingdom fruit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23). As you can imagine, the Pharisees did not like being spoken to like this. "When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet."
Ever heard of the phrase - When it is your time to go, it is your time to go? I do not believe in chance concerning this idea. If you are a follower of Christ and living a Christ-like lifestyle as best possible then I believe God personally removes you from this world. If you are not in God's family through faith in Christ, then I believe God may or may not steer that unbeliever's exit, but He knows how that person will meet their end.
The Lord is Sovereign. This means the Lord is in control, master of everything. And He can handle everything. He is God. Since God has a plan to prosper the believer and not harm him/her, plans to give them hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), then I can rely fully on Christ's experiences, victories and His Sovereignty.
God's successful mission through Christ proves that when God has a goal - it will be protected until completion, even when the goal is the sacrificial death of His Son in the end. But praise God, that was not the end of the story! Christ took back His life and walked out of the grave on the third day! Since God has worked in the life of Jesus this way, Christians should expect that kind of care for our lives - A Protected Plan.