John 15:18-16:4

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  ( John 15:18 )

Just a few days earlier, Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the shouts of “Hosanna!” (John 12:13)

Now He tells the disciples that the world hates Him. 

But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ (John 15:25)

Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me.  I am forced to restore what I did not steal.  (Psalm 69:4)

Jesus will restore what He did not steal.

There is a thief, who steals, kills, and destroys (John 10:10).

But that is not why Jesus came.  He came to give His life as a ransom for ours (Mark 10:45). 

He came to give back what he never took from us.

However, Jesus knew that the world completely misunderstood this.  And two thousand years makes no difference.  We are still convinced that it is God who has stolen from us.  So we listen to another voice, desperately trying to convince us that he can give it back to us.  It is the great deception of our Enemy.   It is a lie. 

In these final hours, Jesus clearly knew the magnitude of this heavenly battle going on around Him.  And He knew that He would be the object of much scorn and derision. 

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  (Isaiah 53:3)

He hung on a cross, shamed and accused as if a criminal.  He was without sin.

He hung on a cross, the slain Lamb of God.  He was the Author of Life. 

As He promised, His rejection means our rejection by the world, for it is not our home (John 15:19). 

But His rejection also means our adoption, our reconciliation, and our redemption.

He has restored what He did not steal.