John 18:1-2; Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; Mark 14:43-52; Matthew 26:47-56; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-24
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Matthew: Matthew 26:35 always stands out to me whenever I read it: "No!" Peter insisted. "Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same." I guess what jumps out at me in this verse is the question - are we really any different from Peter? Would we proclaim that we would not deny Jesus if you asked us straight up? Yes I think we would proclaim that. But then... I get to thinking. About how we live our life sometimes. About the decisions we make. About maybe even the bad habits we foreswore off when we were a new Christian. And yet... do we still find ourselves going back to those bad habits - back to those sins? And, if we are doing this conscientiously - are we in a way denying Jesus when we knowingly sin now? Are we at times denying Jesus as our Lord by our actions? At times, are we really that different from Peter?
The Garden of Gethsemane... verses 38 & 39 are heartbreaking: "Jesus told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me." Jesus went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine."" Zondervan's commentary on these 2 verses really seemed to shake me up a bit about what Jesus did for us - and how we was not a typical martyr - "Jesus did not die serenely as many martyrs have. He was no mere martyr - he was the Lamb of God bearing the penalty of the sins of the entire human race. The wrath of God was turned loose on him. Only this can adequately explain what took place at Gethsemane." The atonement was coming the next day. And Jesus knew it. And he prayed for God's will above all else. And God's will was done. And those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God must be so thankful for Jesus' fervent face down prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane... Through Jesus' atoning death, we are saved from our sins. We are saved from God's wrath. I think it's really worth reflecting upon - Jesus took God's wrath in our place. Think this qualifies Jesus as Savior? Below is Italian painter Sebastiano Conca's beautiful "Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane" from the year 1746:
In Matthew chapter 26 we read about Jesus' arrest. Below is reproduction of a 5th century mosaic of the infamous "Judas Kiss":
Verses 53 & 54 stood out to me today when Jesus says: "Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"" After praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was prepared for what must happen now... Notice how prayer came before this confidence for Jesus of what must happen now. (and Jesus knew that he could call down angels for protection - but he knew he shouldn't) Do you model Jesus' action of praying before embarking on a significant life decision or trial? Below is Jesus on trial before the Council:
YouTube: Today's readings remind me of Switchfoot's song "Restless:"
Are you restless? Click here for true Rest!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!