Jesus’ Final Hour

During His earthly ministry Jesus spoke of the “hour” of His impending death. Of course, His hour was longer than sixty minutes, and perhaps, included not only His death, but the time from His betrayal until His ascension back to heaven (Mat. 26:24; John 13:1). Jesus’ use of the term hour indicates that the very time of His death had been ordained by God His Father, and could not happen a minute earlier…or later! We see this in John’s gospel when on a couple of occasions, though the Jews may have wanted to arrest or seize Him, they could not. The reason given for their inability was “His hour had not yet come” (John 7:30, 8:20).
Jesus was aware, during His earthly ministry, that He must go to Jerusalem and be killed. About a year before His death, He began to reveal this grim reality to His followers. Matthew recorded three occasions on which Jesus made a prediction of His death to the disciples (16:21-23, 17:22-23, 20:17-19). In these predictions we observe progress in Christ’s revelation. In other words, Jesus reveals more details on each occasion. In these predictions, Jesus included His betrayal, trial, execution carried out by the Romans, death, and resurrection on the third day. What He did not clearly reveal until the night before His crucifixion was the purpose of His death. On that night He instituted what we call the Lord’s Supper. It was then He indicated that the blood He would shed at His death was for the remission of the sins of many (Mat. 26:26-30). Today, as we observe the Lord’s Supper, we will remember His body which was given for us, and His blood which was shed for the remission of our sins.