11th April 2018

Faithful To The End

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

I was reading a book this morning and in it was a graphic description of Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Roman authorities. A picture emerged in my mind of the state that He was in physically after being beaten and scourged, the metal tips ripping His flesh as He endured mockery at the hands of those in authority in Israel.

All through this there was one disciple (John) who followed after Jesus even into the courtyard of the high priest—yes Peter was there, but so too was John. In his gospel he records that a disciple asked for permission for Peter to join him (John 18:15-16). Since he was known to the High Priest it is likely that he was of a priestly family, or at least a Levite, to be able to enter the High Priest’s house without needing permission himself. In John 20 it states that this disciple and Peter ran to Jesus’ grave, John stopping outside and Peter running past to go straight in. Only when Peter says there is no body here, does this disciple then enter the grave.

John stayed with Jesus when all the other disciples fled. He was there sharing in the pain of what was happening to Jesus. He could feel the beatings but could do nothing to stop it, and probably felt confusion because this was not what the disciples were expecting from their Messiah. He was also the only disciple close enough to Jesus to want to be with Him no matter what the consequences. John is the only disciple mentioned as being close by with the women that ministered to Jesus when He was nailed to the cross. John suffered with Jesus on the cross, suffered the pain of separation from Jesus, suffered the pain that Mary, Jesus’ mother, felt with her. John was trusted with the care of Jesus’ mother—that is how much Jesus loved and trusted John.

Although John did suffer in his life, being imprisoned, exiled for preaching the gospel and he certainly did not have it easy having to steer the early church from a distance at a time of persecution, He was not martyred as the other apostles were, being in effect a martyr with Jesus on the cross with Him. What a wonderful example for us to follow as we focus at this time of year on that great sacrifice on our behalf.

Prayer
Father in Heaven, as we are crucified with Christ and He lives in me, help me, like John, to remain faithful through whatever may happen, to the very end.
Amen

Study by Rosemary Gent

__________________________________

About the Author:
Rosemary Gent attends Nottingham Grace Communion.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley