Today’s reading is Luke 22.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read the story or heard the story proclaimed. I know the victory with which the story will end. But there is always a part of me when we get to this part of Jesus’s story that wants it to take a different turn. Surely, this time all the people involved will realize how things ought to be. Judas will have learned his lesson and decide not to betray Jesus. Peter will have learned his lesson and decide not to deny Jesus. The Pharisees, scribes, chief Priests, and rulers of the Jews will have learned their lesson and decide not to crucify the Son of Man. Sometimes, I even want Jesus to teach them all a lesson, show them all who’s boss, and drop the bomb on them all. Yet, here I am reading for the thousandth time, and every one of these make the same mistakes over and over again. Well, Jesus wasn’t making a mistake. And, of course, that is the key. In this whole sordid mess, Jesus was the only one who knew what He was doing. And He was doing it for me. Because, as painful as it is for me to watch for the thousandth time, I am just like Judas, Peter, the Jewish leaders. You would think I had learned my lesson. But I have made the same mistakes over and over again. As a friend of mine reminds me, let’s not soften the blow. They weren’t mistakes, they were sins. I am a sinner, and I need what Jesus is giving. As much as I find it hard to read what Jesus is going to go through, it is the only thing that can save me. I need Him to keep making that choice. And so it begins. Judas is betraying Him. Peter is denying Him. The apostles are fleeing Him. The Jews are condemning Him. And it is all because I rebelled against Him, but He loves me anyway. Praise the Lord!
Monday’s reading is Luke 23.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, we’re starting to see what the whole story is about. As shocking as all that is about to happen is, none of it is a surprise to Jesus. He knew what He was coming to earth to be and do. He knew how He was going to be treated. He knew He was going to be rejected, mocked, beaten, and ultimately crucified. He also knew that for all of history He would be betrayed, denied, mocked by the ones He came to save. He knew you would sin against Him. As I told your parents, every time I read this story there is part of me that hopes this time it will turn out differently. But Jesus knew exactly how this would turn out. And He entered the story anyway. He did that for you. He didn’t do it in hopes that you would read this story and decide not to betray Him with sin. He did it because He knew even if you read this story, you will betray Him with sin. He did it because He knew the only way you would be saved would be through His sacrifice. If you are reading this story for the first time, I warn you, it is hard, shocking, tragic reading. However, Jesus did this for you. Praise the Lord!