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November 6 Today’s Reading: John 18-19
“Let these go their way!”
Our Lord Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane; and the soldiers came to arrest Him. When they came to take Him away, our Savior gave this commandment to the soldiers concerning His beloved disciples — “If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: that the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, of them which Thou gavest me have I lost none.”
Do you see the love and care which our Lord manifested toward His people, even in the hour of His trial? His love is strong as death. He voluntarily gave Himself up to the enemy, but demands that His people be set free as a condition of His surrender. As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, He opens not His mouth for His own sake; but for the sake of His disciples, He gives a commandment of sovereign authority. This is love, constant, free, self-denying, unchanging love. But there is far more here than is to be found upon the surface.
This is a beautiful picture of our great Substitute in His work of redemption. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep, but the condition was this: — Those sheep for whom He died must therefore go free, every one of them! Our Surety was bound and slain for us; and justice demands that those for whom He suffered and died as a Substitute must be set free to go their way.
The Lord God says to His Son, our all-glorious Christ, our Divine Substitute, “As for Thee also, by the blood of Thy covenant I have sent forth Thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water” (Zechariah 9:11). In the midst of our worse than Egyptian bondage, that voice rings out as a word of power, “Let these go their way!” Out of the slavery of sin, out of the bondage of Satan, out from under the curse of the law the redeemed of the Lord must come.
The Lord Jesus says, upon the merits of His own infinite sacrifice, “Let these go their way!” With the eye of His justice upon the blood of His Son, the Lord God says of all His elect, “Let these go their way!” — “Deliver them from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom!” Justice satisfied demands it.
“Payment God cannot twice demand,
Once at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine!”
The thunder-cloud of Divine wrath burst upon our Savior’s head, as He hung upon the cross of Calvary, and God’s elect, His chosen sheep, those sinners who, being called by His grace, believe on Christ shall never be smitten by the bolts of the law’s justice and vengeance. They must go free!