Saturday of the Week of Lent II
Then [Jesus] came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” … “But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then the disciples forsook him and fled. (Matthew 26:45-46, 56)
Additional Daily Bible Readings: Genesis 44; Psalm 58; Matthew 26:36–56
Weekly Reading: http://bit.ly/2BPwFmP
The many calls in Scripture for us to “wake up,” remain awake and alert are especially pointed when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, sorrowful unto death, while his friends, his disciples, are napping nearby! Wake up, you lazy disciples! After all Jesus has told you, having seen Jesus troubled and full of sorrow, how can you sleep and take your rest? Are you so unconcerned for your master that you couldn’t stay awake to share his burdens?
We would like to give Jesus’ disciples a piece of our minds! But we are no different, are we? The disciples in the New Testament do not demonstrate exemplary, saintly behavior. Instead, they reflect all our sinful humanity, our disobedience, our lack of understanding and compassion. They are us, truly. We are the New Testament disciples. Sometimes we are Peter, sometimes we are the “sons of thunder” James and John, and yes, sometimes we are Judas—betraying our Lord by our unloving, unforgiving words and deeds.
Regardless of the actions of the disciples, the drama continues. After praying, the betrayer comes. He kisses Jesus, calling him, “Master!” The crowd, , along with the chief priests and elders, comes with swords and clubs and lays hands on Jesus. A disciple draws his sword and cuts off an ear. Jesus rebukes the disciple, as swords and violence have no place in these proceedings. And the disciples forsake Jesus and flee.
Jesus then says, “But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” All of this took place, as God had determined. Jesus becomes the Lamb for slaughter. Jesus is the Lamb of God who dies to take away the sins of the world, as we said yesterday. Though Jesus prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup (of suffering) pass from me,” his final prayer is, “Thy will be done.” It is happening in accordance with the will of God, revealed through the prophets in Scripture.
As difficult as it is for us to walk with Jesus, hearing again the painful account of His passion and death, we remember these words: “all this has taken place that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled,” and, “Thy will be done.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your passion, death and resurrection. Father, in all things, thy will be done! Amen.
Lenten Response: Do you have a cross somewhere in your home, bedroom, office or car? Perhaps move a cross into a more visible location—by a door, across from your bed, on your desk—to be an ever-present reminder during Lent that “thy will be done.”
Video Devotional: From Ashes to Easter
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.