Upper Room Discussions

Luke 22.24-38

Jesus had come to the Upper Room with high hopes. Remember He said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” And that He does. He reinterprets the bread and the cup to show them that He is the ultimate Passover Lamb and that His blood would establish the new covenant of Jeremiah 31.31-34. Yet in the background His death is looming. Within hours…Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, the disciples arguing over who’s the greatest, and their continued misunderstanding of the coming of the kingdom…Jesus says, “Enough.” They just don’t get it.

We miss it sometimes too, don’t we? We too wrangle for position and self-promotion. Who wants to serve when you can be served? We too fail at the Christian life…probably more times than we like to admit. The “that will never happen to me” or “I would never do that” suddenly turns into major failure…being sifted like wheat. And misunderstanding? You bet. We often only hear what we want to hear.

Success in the kingdom is not about self-promotion and the accumulation of power, but about love…loving God more, and loving His people. Serving and self-denial. Even then we will fail Jesus. The question is: How will we respond? Will we run to Him or away from Him? Will we allow Him to use our failures as a means of strengthening our faith, to sift out the chaff? Will we learn to listen to Him…not just hearing what we want to hear, but hearing what He has to say?

Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53.12). The Innocent died for the guilty. The King laid down His life for those who would be His people. Jesus died in our place. Jesus died so that you and I may live. Paul says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5.21). Do you believe that? Do you know Jesus, or do you just know about Him?

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

If the Rooster Crows…

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But he (Peter) said emphatically, ‘if I must die with you, I will not deny you.’” Mark 14:30 ESV

As we discovered last week, Mark is believed to have been written by John Mark, a protege of Peter. In a way, you can say this is actually Peter’s Gospel, for it would’ve been Peter who informed Mark of the events that are contained in this narrative.

Mark presents Jesus as the Suffering Servant. The first ten chapters portray Jesus living His life in service, the final six chapters portray Jesus giving His life in sacrifice.

We arrive now at Chapter 11, the triumphal entry! Hosanna!

Chapters 11 to 16 cover the period from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

As I considered which portions of these last six chapters I should write on this week, staying with the theme that Peter has influenced this gospel, I thought I would blog a little on Peter’s denial.

In chapter 14, versus 26 – 31 Jesus foretells of Peter’s denial. We all know the story, Jesus warns his disciples that after his death, they will all scatter. In response, Peter tells Jesus that even though all the others may fall away he will not!

Jesus looks at Peter and tells him that this very night before the rooster crows he will deny Jesus three times.

Peter in turn tells Jesus that he will never deny Him. Yet, deny Jesus he did.

All four Gospels record this conversation and Peter’s subsequent denial (See Matthew 26, Luke 22, Mark 14, and John 13,18).

After his denial, Peter heard the rooster crow and we are told that he broke down and wept.

Now, our story does not end there, Jesus would appear to Peter and others following the resurrection. Peter would go on to be a major player in the early church, we are told of his exploits in Acts. He would write a couple of letters we hold dear in the New Testament.

I have often wondered if Peter felt a twinge of sorrow whenever he heard a rooster crow the remainder of his life.

Do you ever find yourself reminded of past sin when you are in certain situations? Are there “rooster crows” in your own life? Reminders that make you cringe, cause you to weep with sorrow?

Jesus paid the price for your past sin, my past sin, and even covered our current and future sin. We have been forgiven, Jesus died that we would be forgiven of all past wrongs.

Yet we struggle to forgive ourselves. Know this child of Christ, we have been forgiven! We can live in that knowledge and freedom. Be it Mary Magdalene, the thief on the cross, or Nicodemus – a religious leader, Jesus paid the price for our sins and has forgiven us – isn’t it time we forgive ourselves?

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim