(Today's post by Joshua Jones)
As Adam wrote yesterday, I sat down to write on today’s passage and thought, “What else is there to say?” This section of the Gospel is so powerful, that any words that I use to explain it will not give it justice.
We pick up after Jesus has described to the disciples what is about to happen to him at the Last Supper. He explains that his body will be broken, and his blood would be poured out for the purpose of forgiveness of sins.
Then, Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives. It is here that Jesus tells the Twelve that they will “fall away” from Him, because of what is to come. Peter answers this claim by telling Jesus that even if all the others denied Him, that he would not, even to the point of death. We know the end of this story- Jesus tells Peter that by the next morning, he would deny Christ three times- and he does.
Many times when we read this, we make Peter out to be the bad guy. “Oh, you denied Christ, Peter? Must suck. I’d never do that!” I think that this failure on Peter’s fault turns out to be a comforting message to all of us. We might not have verbally denied Christ, but we all have fallen in shameful ways. We might have even fallen in ways that seem that we could never recover from, have done things that are“unforgivable”.
Fast-forward a few years. The small following of Jesus Christ has exploded onto the scene, and who is one of the leaders of His Church? Peter. The same guy who had denied him three times in one night. Even after the lowest point of Peter’s life, Jesus lifted him up. The forgiveness that came from the work of atonement on the Cross covered Peter’s low just as well as our lowest moments. Peter believed that even his denial of Christ could be forgiven, so let us, even in our most miserable moments, believe that we can be forgiven as well!
After this, Jesus leaves his disciples to stand watch while he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. Knowing what is coming, Jesus prays for a way out, if possible. However, he prays that not His will, but the will of the Father be done. Reading through, I found this to be a beautiful picture. Just verses earlier, we see a foreshadow of Peter’s failure, and the lack of strength in man. As Jesus prays in the Garden, we see the bravery and the strength to follow the will of God. Jesus knew the end goal. He knew he would suffer. He knew that he would be broken and bled out. However, Jesus prayed that his fear would not take over, but that God’s will would be done. This moment is a beautiful picture of how Jesus was both fully man and fully God. His fear was crippling. He was pleading with the Father for a way out. However, when He knew it was the will of the Father, He was prepared to go through with it. Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of God, took this upon himself willingly. Knowing he was a sheep being led to the slaughter, he rose and faced his arrest.
It blows my mind that all of this was done for me. For the moments that I don’t want anyone to see. For my sinfulness. To provide a way out of my destruction, Jesus, the perfect One, went through severe emotional and physical pain in order to provide redemption. Knowing that, I cannot help but worship Him. Hallelujah and Amen.