November 14, 2008 - Friday of the Third Last Week

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 29:1-19; Matthew 26:36-56

But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"

(Matthew 26:54)

Jesus is sorrowful. He falls on His face and prays. "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." He had just given the cup with His blood to His disciples, the cup of the New Testament poured out for all. Now He faces the contents of this cup alone, the cup of human sin and suffering. The cup filled with God’s wrath against sin. Only Jesus can drink this cup, and he will drink it alone.

He prays “your will be done.” He desires to save mankind from sin and death. Three times He seeks a way around this cup of the cross.

Jesus’ disciples can't stay awake having been asked to pray with the Lord. As it turns out, Jesus is alone in His prayers. The spirit is willing but the flesh is too weak. Too weak to pray, to worship, to serve. Too weak some Sunday mornings to get out of bed and rejoice in the resurrection. Our sinful nature fights against us all the way.

Jesus prays for us all: "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." Jesus’ will is to do the will of His God and Father who sent Him. The hour was near.

Judas comes to betray Him with an armed guard with swords and clubs. Judas kisses Jesus and calls Him “Rabbi.” Teacher. He honors Jesus and betrays Him,

One disciple uses his sword and strikes the ear of a servant and cuts it off. Jesus says, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Violence just brings about more violence, even when it’s justified. Jesus is not that kind of Messiah. He could call more than twelve legions of angels to help. But then, how can all righteousness be fulfilled? How can the sin of the world be taken away? Jesus must die.

All of this took place that the scriptures might be fulfilled. Really the entire Old Testament was pointing to this event and it would all be fulfilled the next day, Good Friday. On that day Jesus would bear your sins, my sins and the sins of the entire world. What looked like a tragedy became the greatest day in human history. Man's salvation was won.

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, See Him dying on the tree!

Tis the Christ, by man rejected; Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!

Tis the long-expected Prophet, David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;

Proofs I see sufficient of it: ’Tis the true and faithful Word.

(LSB 451:1)