“So Pilate then handed Him over to them to be crucified” (John 19:16).

The idea that Jesus was “handed over” is a common thread in John’s gospel. Judas handed Him over to the Jewish authorities. They handed Him over to Pilate and the gentile authorities. Pilate handed Him over to the soldiers. The soldiers handed Him over to death on the cross. That He was “handed over” by so many during the final week of His life gives the appearance of being a victim. However, there is a larger story that precedes this Passion Week. “For God so loved the world that He “handed over” His only begotten Son.” Anticipating His death, Jesus said about His own life, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I “hand it over” on my own initiative…and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18). Jesus was no victim being handled. He was, at every stage, the Victor handling everything as it had been intended.

So much has been “handed over” for our benefit, might our Easter prayer be a determination to “hand back” our lives to Him as a living sacrifice.

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