The saying “Knowledge is power” is frequently attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, the famous British philosopher and statesman in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, based on his writings in Meditationes Sacrae (1597).
But human knowledge often comes with a price. We have a history of wanting to know more than is good for us, all the way back to the garden of Eden. God wisely limits our knowledge to a finite level.
Still, we push back. For thousands of years, humans have attempted to know the future through psychics, horoscopes, Ouija boards, and other methods. Would knowing our future really be beneficial? Think of all the ways we could deviously manipulate that knowledge. Imagine, for instance, knowing all the details of your impending death. Would that be helpful, or torturous?
It’s an interesting hypothetical. For a few moments, let’s keep imagining.
Imagine knowing that you would eventually suffer a brutal death—where, when, and how. Imagine knowing that one of your companions would betray you into your executors’ hands for a pittance. Imagine knowing that your closest friends would desert you in your hour of greatest need—one of them fleeing stark naked (Mark 14:51–52), just to avoid any link to you. Imagine knowing one of your three dearest friends would swear unholy oaths to avoid any affiliation with you.
Imagine knowing that you would be mocked and insulted by your prosecutors in a shocking miscarriage of justice. Imagine knowing that prior to your execution, you would suffer vicious torture.
Who would ever want to know that?
Our Savior knew the details of His impending death, and didn’t try to escape it. During the Last Supper, He told His disciples, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (v.24). No wonder Jesus told His disciples in Gethsemane, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death” (v.34). Yet Jesus never wavered in His mission of salvation. Even as He prayed for God to let the cup of divine wrath pass, He added, “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will” (v.36).
Knowing full well the cost of salvation, Jesus willingly poured out His blood for us. He consumed the cup of our sins, down to its dregs.
Jesus also knew the end result—His resurrection and our redemption. “But I will see you again,” He told His disciples before His death. “Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you” (John 16:22). This is our joy, too!
Praise the Lord that Christ knew His future and still suffered for our sake so that we could be made right with God. What a Savior!