Today’s daily reading for Holy Week: Matthew 26:36- Matthew 27:54
Cissie’s reflection on today’s Scripture:
Our journey today begins in Gethsemane. Jesus is in agony as He prepares for what’s to come. He wrestles deeply in the Garden of Gethsemane. It actually says in Luke 22:44, that Jesus was in such agony that he sweats drops of blood. This is an actual medical condition called “hemathohidrosis” where you sweat blood from being under great stress and duress. As we continue on in our journey we watch as Jesus runs to the Father and asks for the passing of this cup, but chooses to submit to the will of the Father (26:39 & 42).
We watch Him be betrayed by his closest friends and put on trial by his own people. Jesus was stripped, mocked, beaten, and ridiculed then nailed to a cross. On the cross at Golgotha, Jesus hung between two criminals (27:33-38). People passing by “hurling abuse at Him” (27:39). Jesus aches deeply from all He is enduring. If this was not difficult enough Jesus endured another painfilled suffering for us that we will never have to if we chose to respond to Him. Jesus endures the separation from the Father. He cries out to God “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (27:46).
As I think about the pain I have endured in my life. It pales in comparison. I’ve been deeply betrayed by someone close to me. I’ve been mocked and ridiculed for my faith. I’ve even had someone very close to me say they hate me to my face. I’ve been abused. I’ve cried in agony to God. What I have never had to endure was separation from God. He has walked intimately with me. Never once leaving or forsaking me as I ran to Him. Which is the key. We have a response to this gift. Acts 2:38 says, “Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Repent means “to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins”. To abhor something is to have disgust for it. Repentance is an action word that propels us forward away from the life we once lived. In authentic repentance, we see life change as we surrender our lives to Jesus’ lordship knowing confidently that He loves us and wants what is best for us. We move forward to live as Jesus calls us to, taking those steps of obedience like baptism. As we do, we enter into this beautiful love relationship as we trust and increase our faith in Him. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as we are given the ability to have victory and to walk in the fruits the Holy Spirit provides. (Galatians 5:22-33) It all comes down to a choice. We can ignore these gifts. We can actually even grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:17-32). That is our choice.
So, I ask, what choice will you make in light of this?
Do you want to receive the gift Jesus gives us? Do you want to walk intimately, but don’t know where to start? Find a close friend who has a relationship with Jesus or reach out to me. You can email me (Cissie) at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk with you.
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