Read Matthew 26:36-75
THE AGONY AND BLESSINGS OF THE CROSS
Key Verse: “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus” (verse 54).
The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is often called the Holy Week. The Palm Sunday is the day Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. A week after that event is Easter.
There are scenes in the Holy Week that vividly portray the agony that Jesus went through. Each scene is significant and captures aspects of his suffering that should not be overlooked. There was the incidence at the Garden of Gethsemane, Matthew 26:36-46; his arrest in the garden, Matthew 26:47-56; when Jesus faced the Sanhedrin Council, Matthew 26:57-75; when Jesus faced Pilate, Matthew 27:11-31; His crucifixion and death at the cross, Matthew 27:32-56. All these are scenes that captured the sufferings of Jesus.
Paradoxically, these scenes exemplify our theme, “Tough Times Don’t Last, But Tough People Do.” Jesus went through this horrendous week and still emerged victorious. All his sufferings that Holy week, two thousand years ago, is the foundation of all the blessings we now enjoy.
Describing one of the scenes during this historic week, Scott Hubbard writes, “On the cross, Jesus accomplished everything necessary for his people to be with him forever. The Bridegroom gave himself for his bride so that she might be spotless and resplendent (Ephesians 5:25–27). The Shepherd laid his life down for the sheep so that they might dwell safely in his fold (John 10:11). The Priest offered himself upon the altar so that anyone covered by his blood might approach him in the Most Holy Place (Hebrews 7:27). Out of the anguish of his soul, Jesus saw his people clothed in his own righteousness, and with satisfaction, he said: “It is finished.” “As you stand beneath the cross of Jesus again on this Good Friday, what do you see? Do you see the Savior’s finished work, and gladly receive the Father’s favour? Or do you see work nearly finished?” Many of us, after singing on Good Friday of the wonders of the cross, live the next day as if we must add a certain measure of obedience and good feelings before we can enjoy what Christ has finished. But we cannot add to finished work. We cannot contribute to completion. We can only hold out the hand of faith and humbly, happily receive it.”
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the cross. I will be eternally grateful for the price you paid for my sins.