“At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day – for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (Luke 13:31-33)
In Karen Kingsbury’s novel, Unlocked, Jake was a bully and the leader of the football team. He loved to bully Holden, an autistic child, and Michael who played flute in the band. The football team rallied around Jake’s bullying until Michael committed suicide. They were guilty too.
The Pharisee leaders bullied Jesus, trying to find Him guilty of disobeying Jewish Law, anything to get rid of Him. Their plan was to have Herod kill Jesus. These Pharisees who came to Jesus weren’t part of the plan, yet they didn’t object. They felt guilty. Jesus wouldn’t appease them because He would follow God’s will. He called Herod a fox because Herod made the decision to crucify Jesus, but wouldn’t take blame. He pinned the decision on the Jews.
Scribes recorded Jesus’ words as he talked about the future. His audience had no clue what “on the third day I will reach my goal” meant. His comment was for people in the future, us. Jesus said that his day-to-day work was driving out demons and healing. Healing should be our work also. Love heals.
Then Jesus did what only He could do. On Good Friday He made himself a sacrifice and buried our sin with him. Scripture tells us He descended into the depths of the earth to preach the gospel and took those living there to heaven with Him. On the third day, He released our sins as He rose to heaven to be with God. Union in heaven with God, Jesus and His people should be our ultimate goal, too.
Father God, I’m guilty too, so thank you for your plan that sent Jesus to save me and remove my guilt. Because of Your plan, I will spend eternity with You. Help me press on today and tomorrow to do Your will. Take away the enemy who makes me feel guilty. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.