Thursday, April 27, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 74

                                   Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 74: Jesus Knew

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 17:22-23

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

22" When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief."
Well, today's reading is rather short- only two verses. Here Jesus gathers His disciples around Himself and tells them about His death and resurrection for the second time. He tells them: 
1) Who He is: "The Son of Man..." 
2) "...going to be delivered into the hands of men." The first time Jesus told the disciples that He was going to die was in Matthew 16:22:  "21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." He didn't tell them that He would be 'delivered' to the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law. I believe He is trying to prepare them for the betrayal of Judas. Judas delivered Jesus into the hands of the elders. I am sure the disciples didn't catch this prophecy, but how devastated they must have been when they realized one of their own betrayed Jesus. Grief upon grief. 
3. "They will kill him..." Who will kill Him? He had already told them- the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, (Matthew 16:22) but here He simply states that He will be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill Him. I am personally still stuck on what Jesus said in chapter 16: elders, chief priests and teachers of the law. Jesus was killed by the 'holy' men of the time. He was killed by the 'pastors' of the synagogue. He didn't die by 'gunman' - a bad man, no, He was killed by those who knew the Scriptures, that lead the people 'closer' to God. If I had been there and Jesus had said who would be responsible for His death I would have been like, "Wait, what? Jesus, say that again." And then every time after that I would have stared down any teacher, preacher, or holy man and not let him near Jesus. 
4. "and on the third day he will be raised to life." He tells them the good news- He will not be dead forever, He will be raised to life on the third day! What is interesting to me is that in both accounts in Matthew 16 and 17 Jesus doesn't tell them why He will suffer, die and rise again. We know today that He did it to take our punishment, triumph over death so we can be with Him in heaven, but so far in the Scriptures, He hasn't told them. Again, I would have been the one in the group raising my hand and asking question after question or at least had questions rolling around in my head and asked the disciples later. I wonder what it was like to hear JESUS speak. Did everything around them become quiet? Did a holiness fall? Did everything make sense? The disciples don't ask questions so I am thinking all of the above must have happened. 
The last line of today's reading is: "And the disciples were filled with grief." I cannot imagine my pastor, who I love, telling me all of what Jesus shared. In Matthew 16:22, "Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things..." He MUST GO..." There was nothing that they could do about it- He must go. Everything in me would wanted to fight to protect Him, to save Him, but 'He must go...' The disciples heard the news, accepted it and grieved. I would have too.
The part of all of this that astonishes me is that Jesus knew. Jesus knew all of this was going to happen and He faced it anyway. I remember when I became pregnant with my first child I did not want to know how an epidural was administered. I knew I wanted it, but was too afraid to know the details. A friend had researched it and really felt I should know, but I refused. I thought, 'If I have to go through it, why know all the scary details?' But Jesus knew all the details: He knew about Judas, the crown of thorns, the flogging, the nails, the cross and yet He still went through it for love for us. 
Pray with me:
Thank you, Jesus, that you knew what God had called you to do and you were faithful to do it all for us. Thank you for obeying the Father even unto punishment and death. Thank you for defeating Satan. Thank you that we are free! Thank you that we have victory in your name! Thank you that we can face anything that the Father asks us to do and be faithful, as you were faithful. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much that you endured the cross for my sins, so that I could be in relationship with you today. I love you, Lord and give you my life. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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