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Undeserving Day 19

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Scripture: John 13:1-17 1It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 Luke 22:7-23, 39-46 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this…  39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Devotional: Today has become known as Maundy Thursday.  It is recorded in Scripture that on this day, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples, established the Lord’s Supper as He predicted His death, and washed the disciple’s feet to set an example of servanthood for them.  Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked the disciples to pray with Him as He cried out to His Father in anguish, that He might be strengthened for what He was undoubtedly about to face.

It’s easy for us to look back on these events and put the pieces together with hindsight.  But imagine the disciples mindset in real time.  Jesus was continually telling them what was to take place – that He would be crucified, would die and be buried, and be raised on the third day.  They simply could not wrap their heads around His message at the time. But soon understanding would come.

The disciples were celebrating with Jesus the last Passover meal that would be necessary in the established order of the Law. For centuries, the Jews observed this practice that foreshadowed this very moment when Jesus, the Messiah, would become the sacrificial lamb - once and for all. (Hebrews 10:1-14)

He paid the price for their sin, and for yours.

Reflect:

  • Take some time today to observe a personal time of communion. Thank Jesus for His body that was broken for you and His blood poured out for you, establishing the new covenant in His blood. Give thanks for the eternal life purchased for you through His death and resurrection.

Undeserving Day 18

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Scripture: Luke 22:1-6 1Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

 Matthew 27:1-5 1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Devotional: Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a situation where you said, “it shouldn’t have to be this way?”  I can’t help but think these very thoughts when reading about Judas, one of the most hopeless narratives of this Holy Week.  He was one of the twelve, chosen by Jesus. He was undoubtedly loved by Jesus and he witnessed Jesus’ miracles and compassion on people everywhere.  Yet Judas betrayed Jesus.

But that didn’t have to be the end of his story.

 Jesus was about to die for the sins of the world, including Judas’. But before that could happen, before Judas could receive the mercy and forgiveness of God, he hung himself.  And he died a condemned man.

Oh, how my heart grieves for Judas.  And for every other person in this world who comes to their end without receiving the grace and mercy of God through Christ’s sacrifice.  We know that if only Judas had repented, like Peter, and like the criminal on the cross, he too would have received eternal life.  But that’s not the choice he made.

It shouldn’t have to be this way.

Reflect

  • There is no sin so grievous that it is not covered by the blood that Jesus shed. Are you, or anyone you know, allowing  sin to keep you from receiving the mercy and grace freely offered through Christ’s sacrifice?
  • Pray that God will spark a flame in your heart to zealously bring hope to those who may be separated from Him by sin. Hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

 

 

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