During this week preceding Easter I like to re-read the account of passover week from the four gospels. It stirs my soul to a depth of gratitude no words can express to imagine my Lord anticipating the cross, burial, and resurrection. He was a man like me. (Well, I'm not a man but, you know what I mean.)
So many facets of these scriptures to gain insight and understanding into our Lord's substitution for our shortcomings and sins. It's interesting to note some of the distractions he faced leading up to what He knew was His destiny and purpose for coming to this earth as a man.
I think of myself when I am resolved to change some characteristic or behavior that isn't yet reflecting the image of God. When I'm resolved before God to live differently you'd think it would be over. Done. Decide to change, repent for my error, walk in the light of my resolve. Not so easy.
Jesus constantly met with opposition in His resolve to finish His course in victory. There He was on His way to give His life for the world. He even did His best to tell those closest to Him what was about to take place and no one got it. He definitely knew how to stay focused... He spent lots of time with God. Even when everyone else was sleeping. He would come away from those intense times with His Father and right off the bat have to deal with questions from some of those disciples He loved dearly saying and doing some of the dumbest things.
Remember when He said to them, "All of you will desert me."
Peter said to Him, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will."
Jesus: "Peter, the truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."
Peter: "No! Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!"
Maybe because I know the way the story goes or maybe because I can relate so intimately with this conversation but I almost chuckle at the brazenness of Peter's words everytime I read these passages.
Then the gravity of it strikes me all at once ... again.
Jesus knew He was going through with His purpose alone. Alone in human terms. The very people He had trusted with every ounce of His love and life and had spent three years day and night nurturing were actually going to desert Him in His time of suffering.
He was alone except for God and the Holy Spirit. With the salvation of all of mankind in His heart and a passion for His Father's heart to bring them to reconciliation with Him He endured the suffering.
How many times have we said in some form or other ... I will NEVER deny you... not even if I have to die with you?
These scriptures strike me deeply. After my somewhat mocking chuckle, remorse touches me. Remorse for my own slacker ways with God. Remorse for making claims to change when I'm before His grace, then walking away to face distractions and .... falling once more. Remorse for the times I deny Him when given the opportunity to share His grace with someone else and I don't. Remorse for sleeping when I should be awake with Him. And the list goes on.
It's easy to desire to walk the right way when in His presence. My goal is to be ever aware that I carry His presence WITH me. I don't have to leave Him behind and walk the right way alone - He is WITH me. THIS is the miracle of His resurrection. He died so God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, could live in human vessels. We're never alone!
So much to think on... so much to reflect ... my heart is full with unDENIable love for my Lord as I celebrate His RESURRECTION from the dead with all of heaven!