Friday, April 6, 2012

{ Holy Week - Good Friday }







Jesus spent Thursday evening sharing a meal with His closest friends and one of His worst earthly enemies, Judas!  He showed them just how much He loved them by becoming the servant and in all humility He gently, tenderly washed their feet. 
But, in less than 24 hours, things certainly took a "turn for the worse"!!


Matthew 26:30  
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.


On their way to the Mount of Olives, Jesus told those who were the closest to Him that on this very night they would dessert Him. Can you imagine the closeness they must have felt during supper, and then to just forget all about that in such a short amount of time?


 Poor Peter!!!
He was always so bold and sometimes just seemed to say the very first thing that popped into his mind. I think a lot of us can relate to some of Peter's shortcomings!  I know I can.  He insisted that he WOULD NOT deny His Savior. His words were "even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!" Peter would have to eat those words in just a few short hours!


Matthew 26:36-46
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said,
“Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn't you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”



If you had a friend confide in you, and tell you something along the lines of "my soul is crushed with grief to the point of death", would you just totally ignore them?  Would you decide that it was much more important that you get a good night's sleep than pray with, and for, your best friend?
 Well, that's exactly what Jesus' disciples did. 
Three times He asked them to watch and pray, even asking Peter, 
"couldn't you watch with me even one hour?" 
How sad to think that I couldn't spare just one hour for my very best friend!


Matthew 26:47-56
And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. The traitor, Judas, had given them a rearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. (this would be Peter!!!) Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 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?” Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” 
(See Isaiah 53:5-7)


All the disciples deserted Him and fled, just like He said they would!
 Jesus was arrested and carried away for a "mock" trial. 
What had He done to even warrant an arrest?
 Aren't we "innocent until proven guilty"? 
That certainly didn't apply to Jesus, did it? 
All He did was tell the truth, even to His accusers.....
and He was accused of blasphemy!


As I've studied these scriptures  leading up to the reason we as Christians celebrate Easter, I've experienced a lot of different emotions, almost as if I were right there walking alongside Jesus as He made His way thru the last week of His days on earth. But, I have to ask myself, what would I have done?
Would I have had the nerve to have admitted:


YES.....I DO KNOW HIM!
HE'S MY BEST FRIEND!
I WON'T ALLOW YOU TO TREAT HIM THAT WAY!

HE'S INNOCENT!


Or, would I have been just like His disciples and ran in the opposite direction hoping that nobody had seen me with Jesus.....
hoping that nobody would accuse me of being one of His followers.
Would I have been like Peter and tried to blend in with the crowd, 
yet staying near enough to try to see what was going on?

  Remember that comment Jesus made to Peter that he would deny knowing Him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning?



Matthew 26:75
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
And he went away, weeping bitterly.


It hurts me so deeply to read the accounts of how Jesus was beaten:


Matthew 26:67-68
Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah!
Who hit you that time?”


Matthew 27:26
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.


Isaiah 52:14
But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.


As this longest night in history wore on, here are the accounts of the events that took place:


Judas Hung Himself - Matthew 27:1-10
Jesus Trial Before Pilate - Matthew 27:11-26
The Soldiers Mock Jesus - Matthew 27:27-31
The Crucifixion - Matthew 27:32-44

The Death of Jesus - Matthew 27:45-56
The Burial of Jesus - Matthew 27:57-61
The Guard at the tomb - Matthew 27:62-66


As Christians, I think it's important for each of us to take the time to go back and re-read the story of the cross.....
of how God loved us so much that He sent His One and Only Son to die for our sins. 
We need to read how He was treated. and realize that He did it for us.....
that He took our place.....
that it was each of us who deserved the treatment that He endured!


I wish for each of you the most blessed Easter you've ever known.....
just because you've come to realize the real reason for this celebration.  
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Easter baskets and coloring Easter eggs and all the fun that we put into Easter for the little ones.

But, please, take the time to steal off by yourself sometime during this Easter season and thank Jesus for what He did for you!



John 3:16  
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.



Breathing in Grace,



4 comments:

  1. Oh my...what an amazing and touching post this morning! Couldn't help but feel a lump in my throat as I was reading this. Every time I read your post I ask God to speak straight to my heart..HAD it not been for JESUS where would I BE???? Could I have given up my ONLY child to save others? Would I have denied HIM to save myself? I am so grateful for the reminder that we have a Lord that gave HIS ALL for us...regardless of how we act or do. Regardless of color, size, poor or rich. God is so faithful to me Debbie even when I'm not faithful! Oh how He loves you and me......Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  2. Hello dear one, As Christians we cannot help but be so touched by these circumstances, the whole story of the CROSS is something we need never to forget. Much love is sent your way..for these Holy Days.. xxxx I have posted a wonderful video about Jesus Family and how they continued to spread the gospel after his leaving them to return to Heaven. xx

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  3. Great message, Easter Blessing back to you !!

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  4. indeed these are special days to remember Christ's sacrifice. may we keep these precious words in our hearts and live our lives in such a way that we do not betray him even today. i too have wondered what i would have done if i were there. would i have denied him too? a blessed Easter season to you!

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24