FEBRUARY 7 READING…Matthew 26
Jesus is in Jerusalem and the tide of opinion is turning on Him. His miracles were not enough for the people and the religious leaders, for their hearts were far from God. Miracles are never enough…without a heart change people will just move on to the next spectacle. Jesus knew what was coming and He became very specific in telling them that in two days He would be handed over to the religious authorities. As a matter of fact, as Jesus was telling His disciples, Caiaphas the high priest, was already assembling and planning with the other religious leaders. Jesus went to home of a man named Simon, who had been a leper. There a lady named Mary, many believe of Magdala, anointed Jesus with some expensive oil. The disciples were concerned that this expensive oil was wasted on Jesus, and could be sold with the proceeds going to the poor. Jesus corrected them…for she was preparing the Lord for what He was about to go through. Judas agrees with the religious leaders to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver…just as it was prophesied. Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples…He identifies Judas as the one who would betray Him…and He dismissed Judas to do what he would do. Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper for His followers…today we still join in this communion, remembering the Lord’s great sacrifice for our sins. Peter boasts of the fact that even if everyone else denies Jesus, he never would…Jesus tells Peter that he would actually deny Him three times before the rooster crowed.
Jesus then leaves the city and goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, this was an olive grove where they pressed the olives to make oil. The word gethsemane means “pressed down”, “crushed”, “great pressure applied”. Here Jesus prayed and His sorrow was so great He sweat drops of blood…sadly His disciples could not even stay awake to pray with Him…clearly Jesus would have to suffer everything alone from this point on. It was in that garden that Judas brings the authorities and betrays Jesus with a kiss…the disciples that were there with Jesus fled in fear. Jesus is dragged before Caiaphas and the scribes and elders, where there are two false witness who speak against Him. Peter followed at a distance. The high priest finally gets frustrated when Jesus would not answer their false accusations, and commands for Jesus to say whether He is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said yes, He was, and that they would see Him sitting at the right hand of God, and coming in the clouds in power. The high priest rips his clothes and says nothing else needs to be said…he declared Jesus guilty of blasphemy. Now each of us have to decide…for either Jesus, by His own words, is a blasphemer or He is the Christ, the Son of God. I say He is the Christ, the Son of the living God…He is the only Savior of mankind…He is God! Peter then, by the fire outside the high priest’s home where Jesus was being “tried”, denies Jesus three times and runs away and weeps bitterly. Pray in these difficult days my brothers and sisters that by the power of God we will not deny our Jesus.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Matthew 27