We will take a short break from the reading of Revelation to read from the Gospel of Matthew 26 to 28, the account of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. We will continue with Revelation on Tuesday, April 2.
Link to today’s reading
Easter is a time when believers celebrate the finished work of Jesus and we have reason to celebrate. This is in advance of what we will do when we will be before the throne of God, as we have seen in the book of revelation. Our celebration is an expression of our appreciation and gratitude for God’s love towards us.
It is the Father’s will for us to appropriate everything that Jesus accomplished for us. The price was too big to go unclaimed. We will never be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of His sacrifice because we have and will never experience anything like that.
In our present state, we depend on our physical senses and this hinders our ability to connect with the spiritual dimension. Our ability to perceive the operation of the Holy Spirit is often limited to the effects it produces in the physical realm. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) The opening of the door to the spiritual dimension happens when we are born again (John 3:3). Then we enter in uncharted territory. We must learn to operate by new “spiritual senses” and we need to be trained to operate by them just as an infant must learn to use his physical senses to operate in the physical world.
To benefit of Jesus’ finished work we must remember what happened both physically and spiritually. We can easily get distracted by this physical world and turn our beliefs into a good philosophical doctrine stripping away all their spiritual reality and power. This is what those Christians who talk about demythologizing the Bible do. Their Christ is not resurrected and, no matter the good actions that they may perform, they still are in their sins (1 Cor 15:17).
As we go to the Word of God in these days, let us do it prayerfully. Asking with an open heart to show us all what we can receive. Don’t rush through the reading. Take more time than usual to ponder and meditate on the Word. Take time off for it. Jesus did take time of His heavenly existence for you. No matter what your need is today, He has provided for it on a hill, long ago. Remember, there is a reality beyond the physical events. Ask the Holy Spirit to show it to you. You have an opportunity to receive a deeper revelation of the most important event in human history. You have the opportunity to receive a greater manifestation of your salvation.
Matthew – Chapter 26 – Outline
- Jesus prophesies about His death on the cross
- The Jewish leaders plot to kill Jesus
- Jesus is anointed at Bethany by a woman with a costly perfume
- The negative reaction of His disciples
- Jesus defends the woman
- Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver
- Jesus instructs the disciples to prepare for the Passover
- The Passover Supper
- Jesus prophesizes Judas’ betrayal
- Jesus declares the New Covenant through His body and His blood
- Jesus prophesizes the scattering of the disciples
- Jesus prophesizes His resurrection
- Jesus prophesizes Peter’s denial
- Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
- Jesus goes to pray
- Jesus finds the disciples asleep
- The arrest of Jesus
- Judas comes with a great multitude and betrays Jesus
- A disciple cuts the ear of the servant of the high priest who is trying to seize Jesus
- Jesus admonished the disciples
- All the disciples fled
- Jesus is led to Caiaphas, the high priest
- Peter followed them to the high priest courtyard
- Two false witnesses accuse Jesus of saying that He will destroy the temple
- The high priest puts Jesus under an oath to reveal if He is the Christ
- Jesus confirms it
- The high priest declares that Jesus deserves death
- They beat and mocked Jesus
- Peter denies Jesus 3 times
- A rooster crowed and Peter remembered Jesus’ prophesy and cried bitterly
Matthew 26:41 – Spirit vs. Flesh
This verse reveals a number of truths that can greatly help us in our spiritual walk.
- We need to watch or pay attention to what is happening. If we are not aware we are taken by surprise and we are unprepared. Reading this chapter I find amazing how the disciples heard Jesus prophesizing about what was going to happen. They could see and hear Him expressing His agony, yet they were falling asleep. Evidently they had not paid attention or believed what Jesus had said. It just did not register in their reality. I am not belittling them. I realize that this is what we all do many times as our senses dominate our awareness. We must be aware of:
- what is happening around us spiritually
- our emotions
- our physical conditions
- and our resources.
- We need to spend time in prayer. In prayer we connect with the Father. In prayer we address and resolve our emotions, our struggles and our confusion. Jesus was fully aware and He was tempted in all ways as we are yet without sin (Heb 4:15). The coming experiences produced strong emotions in Him. It was not the physical sufferings that most of the time are emphasized, that moved His emotions. It is not that these were not formidable. But His spirit was strong to withstand them. Why do I say this? Because it was prophesized (Isa 53:7) and it was evident by the account of His response to the physical suffering. He did not cry out but for one thing, when the sins of the whole world were poured on Him (Isa 53:5) and therefore He became separated from the Father. Jesus was prepared for His task. He was ready. His spirit was stronger than His flesh. His flesh was ruled by the Word of God (John 1:14). We too must pray for:
- and resolve negative emotions
- Our spirit may be willing, but that is not enough. We need spiritual power to maintain our position in difficult circumstances. Spiritual power is acquired from spiritual connection with the source of that power. When we don’t commune with God with commune with the world. This makes our flesh stronger and our spirit anemic.
How much time do you spend in prayer as compared to other activities? How aware are you of the spiritual reality as compared to the physical one? Which side is stronger in you, your spirit or your flesh? Simply applying the truths in this verse you can change the balance in your life.
I thank you Lord that every action and word of Jesus show us Your will for us, and the way to experience our salvation. Help me to mind more of the things that are not seen realizing that they are eternal.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
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