Friday, June 23, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 110

                          Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 110: Jesus Loves Us!

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 26:17-30

The Last Supper

17 "On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover." (Matthew 26:17-19)
In the Book of Mark, Jesus says it alittle differently: Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” (Mark 14:13b-15)
Mark's version made it easier for me to understand how they found a 'certain man'- He was carrying a jar of water. In my commentary it explained too that many people had spare rooms for the purpose of sharing them with those who had come into Jerusalem for the Passover. Once again Jesus clearly shows them that He is God- He knows everyone. He knows their hearts and He knew which person would willingly share his spare room for Jesus and the disciples for the Passover. (It reminds me of the story in Matthew chapter twenty-one where Jesus sends two disciples ahead into Jerusalem to get Him a donkey). 
20 "When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.21 And while they were eating, he said, Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” (Matthew 26:20-22)
We know, as the reader of the Word of God and believers, that Jesus knew Judas was to betray Him even before He chose Judas to be a disciple. Jesus always knew that Judas was the one to turn Him over to the chief priests and be killed. Jesus always knew. The disciples never knew. Here Jesus begins to prepare them for the reality that they will be facing that very evening. Now, Jesus has told them many times that He will be 'handed over' to the chief priests, but He never told them WHO was going to do the deed. I see two things: 1) Jesus is preparing them for the actual 'hand over' part of the night. He is preparing them for what they will see- Judas, their Judas- their brother, disciples, of three years, leading the chief priests and temple guards straight to Jesus to be arrested. 2) Jesus is preparing their heart for even after He is dead and buried, when they will be sitting around talking about this night. They won't say, "Did you see the shock in Jesus' eyes when He saw that it was Judas who betrayed Him!!!" No. They'll say, "Jesus knew all along that Judas was the one and yet He loved Him and accepted what the Father had for Him to do. Jesus went with the temple guards without a fight. He went to the cross without a defense. He went because He knew all along that this was what He was sent here to do." 
23 Jesus replied, The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:23-24)
My Bible commentary explains: "It was the custom-still practiced by some in the Middle East-to take a piece of bread, or a piece of meat wrapped in bread, and dip it into a bowl of sauce on the table. In that culture, as among Arabs today, to eat with a person was tantamount to saying, "I am your friend and will not hurt you." This fact made Judas's deed all the more despicable." 
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
My One Volume Bible Commentary says, "This is clear proof that Jesus regarded His death as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the word, and therefore, as altering the relaton of the whole human race to God. As Moses had once made a covenant with God by the blood of victims (animals) sprinkled on the people (Ex.24:8) so now Jesus by His own blood made a new and better covenant."
Pray with me:
Jesus thank you for coming to earth knowing what you had to do to reconcile us to the Father and that you did it for us. Thank you for loving Judas all those years even though he was your enemy. Thank you for preparing the disciples heart for all that they would have to see and endure. Thank you for being so gentle with them and with me. Thank you for always showing me so much love. When I read the Scriptures all I see is how much you loved. Thank you for loving me so much that you died on the cross for my sins and made a way for me to know you. Thank you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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