Each week leading up to Easter we have been examining a section of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Last Night. It’s important for all of us who read what he wrote to understand something. He wasn’t just some news reporter delivering facts about how Jesus suffered… Rather, this devoted disciple was writing out of love for his master, re-living each detail of Jesus’ suffering to teach his readers some deep lessons. His God-inspired goal was not to have us be emotionally touched and moved by his words but to be radically changed because of them.
Last Sunday we looked at Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:26-46). Here are some vitally important lessons that bear repeating.
The first lesson: Jesus instructed His disciples to wait and watch. He wanted them to be ready. As His disciples today, He calls us to do the same. At any given moment, we could be asked to kneel beside a family member, a friend, or a neighbor to support them as a representative of our Master.
Second, Jesus knew His disciples needed prayer. They were about to face something that would be emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. They needed prayer to resist the temptation to cave in and abandon Him. So do we. We need the prayers of each other for strength to help us as we face life’s many challenges.
Third, Jesus was and is a doing Savior. At Easter time, it’s easy to look at Jesus as our dying Savior. But He’s much more than that. Simply said, Jesus died the death we should have died. As the old chorus says, “He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay…” When I fully realize that Jesus received what I deserve, and I receive from God what Jesus deserved, then this reality changes the way I live my life.
If this is really what Jesus did, then I can live life with my head up. It means I can live life without worrying about tomorrow. It means I don’t have to be defined by my past. I don’t have to worry about rejection. This makes all the difference in the world.
Can you grasp the difference Jesus made for your life on the cross?
Grace & Peace,