Matthew 26 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
In a crisis or when you are treated poorly what is important is `what you do next’. It is not what happens to you that matters as much as what you do next. When we are hurt or rejected, most of us act out of a “Me first” attitude. We think too often and too much of ourselves. This is why Jesus is the purest example of godliness.
Some of you have been told you have cancer or heard your spouse wants a divorce or that you have been laid off. You didn’t hear what was said next. For the next few days that jarring news is all you could think about. The color went out of your day, you felt isolated, unsure what to do, and then anger, depression and possibly a host of other negative emotions.
This makes Jesus’ actions and words in Matthew 26 all the more awesome. If we knew we would be crucified in a few hours, I doubt we would be serving others, speaking of love, and forgiving our betrayer. Jesus is in a pressure cooker, surrounded by enemies, and facing a violent rejection of his teaching and Himself. Yet, his calmness and tenderness is never more evident.
Jesus defends Mary of Bethany against the criticism of Judas and others who lamented the waste of her expression of love to Jesus, while never going off on a tirade about the hypocrisy of Judas. He celebrates what will become The Lord’s Supper moments after Judas leaves. He calmly teaches, loves, and shows them how to love God in the midst of the cruelest betrayal in human history. Jesus, ever the teacher, a Man of Sorrows, is focused on his disciples will respond when He is gone. Jesus, is a servant to the end, caring for His own.
Jesus endures two betrayals; one by Judas and the other by Peter. Yet, Jesus looks to the cross. The cross is the cruelest form of death and abject humiliation. Yet, this is the way, the only way, God would be the most glorified and bring salvation to His people. Jesus did not waver nor did He falter. Jesus is the perfect example of godly suffering.
These home-bound days may be hard and we may be tempted to complain. It is hard and challenging. But remember our Lord Jesus who endured the reproaches of sinful human beings all His life. He then ended His life in excruciating pain . . . all to bear our sins on his body. What a Savior we serve.