Thursday, April 1, 2010

His Story: The Amazing Grace - April 1, 2010

Matthew 26:17-19 (New International Version)
17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
18He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.' " 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
...
26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."

30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Zechariah 13:7 (New International Version)
7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

Matthew 26:31-35 (New International Version)
31Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
" 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."
33Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

Have you ever stopped to reflect on what the last few hours of Jesus' earthly life? Have you taken the time to read each verse and comtemplate these events? All the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record portions of what happened, and these last hours, and what happens is so detailed that I don't have room to comment on it all. Have you read about the grace that Jesus gives in order to make us right with God?

In these verses we see Jesus having his final Passover meal with his followers, and he introduces a New Covenant,an agreement with God and His people. No longer would the blood of bulls and lambs be required to atone, for the sins, mistakes, and disobedience of man, because Jesus himself was about to take on the sins of all mankind. That means that it was in this act that God would no longer require our life as payment for our sin, because Jesus was giving up his life for us.

We read further how at this time, Jesus' darkest hour, although they said they wouldn't, the disciples all abandoned him. They slept while he prayed and sought comfort in his distress, and they fled when all the evil of the world came after Him. Even Peter, one of his closest friends, would deny even knowing Jesus.

In these final hours, Jesus would walk alone through all the evil Satan and the world could put together. He would be betrayed by a friend's kiss, arrested and brutalized by his captors, denied by his best friends, falsely accused on trumped up charges, and judged in secret during the dead of night. He would be passed around rulers and officials to be mocked, beaten and spat upon, and scourged, flogged with metal tipped whips, tearing flesh from His body and beaten beyond recognition. Finally He would be condemned to death, while the people laughed and ridiculed him, and chose a murderer's life to spare, rather than His.

All of these things weigh heavily on my mind during this season of the year, for it was because of my sin, mistakes and disobedience that Jesus was going through this humiliation and pain. It was also because of me that God would turn His back on His one and only Son, to make it possible for me and you and whoever would accept it, to be forgiven and reconciled to Him. Jesus was going through these things to make us right with God.
Jesus was doing these things so that we could spend eternity with Him. Now that is amazing grace.

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