“And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus, the Passover came just as you had planned, and You knew You would soon endure deep physical and mental suffering. The Passover meal is such a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people, and I know You longed to commemorate that moment with your friends, and encourage them before the trials that would soon come. Suffering is so hard, Lord. The reminder and celebration of Your faithfulness is imperative in dealing with the struggles that plague our lives. We so easily forget Your faithfulness and enduring love.
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Lord, you served us in Your suffering. You said that the blood You would shed for us would be a new promise for us: A promise of salvation forever. Just as the blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from death, so, too, Your blood was offered as a new promise of life and safety to anyone who would agree to accept Your promise.
Following You is hard, God. Following You also means following the road You had to travel: the road of suffering. And You never told anyone that following You would be easy. Instead You quickly let Your friends know that following You would come at a great cost.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Lord Jesus, I have often felt “sifted like wheat”. I’ve struggled and faltered and my faith has been at times so weak, and at other times strong enough to move mountains. But Lord, it has been hard. Satan doesn’t mess around. And I have been hurt! At times, by my own folly, I have fallen into pits. At other times, I held strong to Your promises and still fell into pits of destruction and pain.
“Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”
Isn’t that just how life goes? I am weak. I am strong. I am weak. I am strong. But You are always strong. I make promises to You that I can’t keep. My flesh is weak, no matter how strong my spirit is. But Lord, Your Spirit in me is always strong. Your Spirit in me will get me through the trials that I face, both the ones of my own making, and the ones set before me by the enemy.
It was the enemy that set about to kill You. And it was the enemy that tried to destroy You. But Your plan all along was to love Your enemies and die for them, no matter how much they hated You. So, you let the enemy sift You like wheat, tearing your flesh from your body, hurling insults at You, driving You like an animal to Your death, until You were displayed on a cross for all the world to see, and proclaimed, “It is finished!”
You had the last laugh, Lord Jesus! You broke the bonds of sin and death on that day and defeated the enemy with Your victory. Your resurrection proved You were God and had dominion over life itself. And You offer that life to any who would receive it.
So, I want to receive Your life fresh today, Lord. Help me to endure the trials that come. Humble me to receive Your power at work within me and help me to encourage those around me to endure just as You did. I don’t want to arrogantly proclaim, I will follow You anywhere. Instead, let me humbly say, I will trust You no matter what happens.
I trust You, Jesus. You are faithful.