Jim is on hiatus this week… but he provided us with the following excerpt…
As we finish reading through the Book of Matthew Chapters 26-28, ponder the following, taken from the Gospel Transformation Bible:
“The story of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion is also the story of the failure of his disciples to be faithful to him during this immensely difficult time.
When the religious and civic leaders came to arrest Jesus, not only Judas but all the disciples eventually abandoned him.
Despite Peter’s protests of willingness to die for Jesus—protests which all the disciples affirmed (26:33, 35)—he failed miserably along with them all.
They did not have enough compassion toward Jesus even to stay awake with him during the stressful night of his arrest (26:36–46), and when the crowd arrived to arrest him, Matthew tells us that all of Jesus’ disciples “left him and fled” (26:56).
Even Peter, who at least put up an ill-conceived effort to protect Jesus (26:51), and followed “at a distance” behind those who had arrested him (26:58), eventually denied that he even knew Jesus (26:72, 74).
Jesus knew that his disciples would be faithless (26:31–35), but he offered them the hope of forgiveness and restoration in his comment that, after his resurrection, he would go before them to Galilee (26:32).
The death to which their unfaithfulness had consigned him was a death for the forgiveness of this sin also (26:28).
Both Peter and Judas were sorry for their faithlessness to Jesus (26:75; 27:3–4), but whereas Judas’s sorrow led to despair, Peter and the other disciples sought refuge in Jesus’ offer of restored fellowship (28:7, 10) and his renewed call to service in the kingdom (28:16–20).
There is great hope for sinners in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, and that hope is not only for new disciples of Jesus but for his seasoned followers also.
The proper response to sin, however grave it may be, is not despair.
It is instead trust in Jesus’ willingness to forgive and restore the sinner to full fellowship with himself and to useful service in the kingdom.
What rich hope for those who want their lives to count for Christ, yet who are painfully aware of their inadequacy and failures.”
Until next time… Keep reading!