Thursday, April 2, 2015

Welcome Back

Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” Matthew 26:31 (NLT)

It was an intimate meal - Jesus with his closest friends and dearest enemies.

The disciples were probably confused.  Four days ago Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem as the Savior King, but He’d hardly mentioned the Romans all week.  Though surrounded by crowds, Jesus hadn’t rallied an army or gathered weapons to stage a revolt.

Instead, Jesus had openly criticized the Temple leaders and Jerusalem was buzzing with arrest rumors. This Passover meal may have been a welcome break from the crowds and tension.  It may have felt normal.

This meal, which has become our Holy Communion, was anything but normal.

Jesus knew Judas had already betrayed Him. According to scholars, Judas sat next to Jesus so they shared a dipping cup. Jesus looked into the eyes of His betrayer as He tenderly wet and wiped his feet. Later, in the garden, Jesus would call Judas ‘friend’.

Jesus knew that in spite of Peter’s enthusiastic pledge of loyalty, he would vehemently deny even knowing Him.  Yet Jesus is patient when Peter doesn’t understand His example of servanthood in the foot washing and pre-forgives his denial saying “so when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus knew every one of them would run and hide, so He prayed that the Father would protect them.

Jesus saw beyond the betrayal, the denial and the fear and loved them.

No matter what you have done or will do, Jesus tenderly and patiently encourages you to turn to Him. He sees beyond your weakness and welcomes you home.

These Holy Week articles would be perfect to repost on Facebook or Twitter or to forward through email.  Scatter seeds as the world recognizes Good Friday and Easter.

#seedsofscripture #HolyWeek #Easter #MaundyThursday #TheLastSupper

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