Because He Died, We Truly Live
04/02/22 – 04/13/22
Surprised by Purpose
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 04/12/22
Of the three women from Mark 16, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus are more familiar to us because of their presence in other Biblical accounts. In comparison, Salome is a seemingly unknown character. But we know her story, for she is the mother of two of Jesus’ disciples, the sons of Zebedee.
Read Matthew 20:20-28. Salome loved her sons with a passion. In her mind, her boys were the greatest leaders that Jesus would ever have. So she said to Him, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom” (v. 21). Like many Jews, Salome probably thought Jesus had come to establish a physical kingdom on earth.
Like all loving mothers, Salome had great hopes and dreams for her boys. She believed that their reigning with Jesus on earth was the fulfillment of these dreams. But on Good Friday, as she stood at the foot of the cross, those dreams were shattered. She saw all her ambitions for her sons dying with Jesus.
Salome had not yet grasped the purposes of God—the mystery hidden for ages but now disclosed to the Lord’s people (see Colossians 1:26). Her hope was still in her own plans. But God’s plan was exceedingly more wonderful than her own. For on the cross, Jesus was guaranteeing that not only her sons but every believing son and daughter would reign with Him for eternity.
On that first Easter morning, the purpose of God was fulfilled. His wonderful plan came to fruition the moment Jesus shed His own blood, died as a substitute for us, and was raised to life. He took our death, our judgment, our hell, and now He is redeeming all who put their faith in Him. These are the glorious riches of the mystery, the very purpose of God—Christ given for us, the hope of glory.
God loves us more intensely than we could ever know. He loves us with an indescribable, inexplicable love, and out of an overflow of His love, He chose to pay for our sins. According to His great purpose, we now stand righteous in Christ rather than condemned by our sin. So when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances or when things do not go as planned, we can trust the God whose plans and purposes are always better than our own.
Prayer: Lord, I long for Your purposes to be fulfilled in my life. I praise You for Your redeeming love. May it transform my life and, as I share it, the lives of those around me for Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“[H]e made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” (Ephesians 1:9-10).