26th March 2013

The Final Hours

“Surely he was the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:54 (NIV)

When I consider the final hours of Jesus’ life I’m amazed at the way he treated those who betrayed, denied, arrested, deserted, tried, mocked, taunted, cursed and crucified him.

Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and yet on that last night in the upper room he washed his feet just as He had done for the other disciples. He even dismissed him in such a way so as not to publicly humiliate him in front of the other disciples. (John 13:21-30)

Jesus warned Peter ahead of time that he would deny him. Yet Jesus still loved him and still believed in him. He prayed that Peter’s failure would not destroy him. Then after Peter had denied Jesus three times, he turned and saw Jesus looking at him, not with hatred in his eyes but with a compassion and love that wanted to restore him. (Luke 22:31-34, 61)

Malchus, the high priest’s servant came with the soldiers when they arrested Jesus in the garden. Typical of Peter he drew his sword and cut off a portion of the servant’s ear. Jesus responded with incredible restraint, not calling down an army of angels to defend himself, but tenderly healed the servant’s ear. (Matthew 26:50-54).

Jesus’ other disciples deserted Jesus at His most critical hour. Yet instead of berating them for a cowardly act, he simply talks of prophecy being fulfilled. (Matthew 26:31)

The religious leaders tried Jesus wrongly, accused him with false witnesses, and hit him. Yet he took it all and didn’t retaliate. (Mark 14:53-65)

The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, forced a crown of thorns on his head, and took turns in beating him. Again, he took all without retaliating. (Mark 15:16-20).

The crowd at the cross taunted Jesus, daring him to come down and save himself if he really was the Messiah. He took all the sarcasm and ridicule and didn’t throw it back in their faces. (Mark 15:29-32).

Both the thieves on the cross, initially, cursed Jesus. (Mark 15:32) Yet he did not hold this against the one who asked to be remembered and promised him paradise. (Luke 23:42-43).

The soldiers who crucified Jesus not only hammered the nails into His wrists and feet, but gambled for His cloak. Jesus’ response is the most incredible imaginable, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). Jesus not only forgives His enemies, He defends them.

No wonder the centurion made his great confession of faith, that Jesus is God’s Son. (Matthew 27:54)

Father, thank you for Jesus who did not retaliate when insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered, but faithfully went to the cross for our salvation.

Study by Barry Robinson

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One Response to “26th March 2013”

  1. Andy Bugg on March 28th, 2013 11:26 pm

    What an amazing God we serve…….what an incredible world it would be if we all behaved that way toward each other. Heaven is such a place where no sin resides so those of us who trust in Jesus to save us will experience such a world one day…..for eternity!!!!

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