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Daily reading: 24th November 2015

John 18.1-2

1 Having said these things Jesus, with His disciples, went out beyond the Kidron brook (a winter torrent). There was a garden there, into which He and His disciples went. 

2 Now Judas, the betrayer, already knew this place, because frequently Jesus gathered together there with His disciples.

Sometimes people use the expression: ‘crossing the Rubicon’. The Rubicon is a river and in ancient times it was the boundary separating Italy, which was controlled by Rome, from the  Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul, to the north.

On January 10th 43 BC Julius Caesar famously crossed the river Rubicon with a legion of soldiers. This was effectively a declaration of war on Rome and Italy, since it was illegal to cross the river Rubicon with an army. Therefore, war with Rome was inevitable.

We use the expression of ‘crossing the Rubicon’ to express that we have made a final decision to take a certain action.

Jesus led His disciples out from the Upper Room, through the streets of Jerusalem, and down to the Kidron brook. As Jesus crossed this brook, it was a similar thing to crossing the Rubicon, because at that point Jesus was again making the decision to declare war on sin, death, and satan.

Once Jesus crossed that brook He decided that there was no turning back. He had decided to walk defiantly towards His betrayer and those who were coming to arrest Him.

Jesus would have known the implications of crossing the Kidron. He knew the implications of entering Gethsemane.

He willing went and crossed the brook for you and me. Crossing the brook Kidron was His laying down His life for us. The cross was looming ever larger before Him.

W Barclay says that there was great significance In Jesus crossing the Kidron. It was a brook that would have been coloured red by the sacrifice of the Passover lambs, of which there would have been thousands. Thirty years later it is estimated that 256,000 lambs were sacrificed and their blood dashed onto the altar in the temple. From the temple there was a channel to the Kidron, in which the blood of the lambs was conveyed to the Kidron.

As Jesus crossed the blood red Kidron perhaps His thoughts would be turned to the fact that within a few hours His own sacrificial blood would be flowing from the cross. It flowed for you and me. What a Saviour.

 

 

 

 

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