Matthew 26 - 27
Matthew’s Gospel moves briskly up until the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. At that point, it slows down considerably, giving us more and more detail as we move closer to Jesus’ death. Due to these intentional narrative choices, we get much more than we would have otherwise with regard to the thickening plot to take Jesus’ life. We see up close and personal Jesus’ strong desire to take the Passover one last time with His disciples, where He transforms it into the LORD’s Supper. We learn of a woman’s costly devotion to her LORD in anointing Him with extremely expensive perfume oil (John 12:3 identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha). We see Judas’ betrayal with a kiss (and later the tragic taking of His own life). We learn of Peter’s denials, of Jesus’ closest disciples too sleepy for the most intense prayer meeting ever held, and of Jesus’ disciples writ-large fleeing upon His arrest. We learn significant proceedings of the most unjust trial ever conducted, wherein Jesus was condemned to die. So, He did just that, in the most excruciating fashion. Jesus went to the cross willingly, was abandoned by His Father, died a disgraceful criminal’s death, and was laid in an empty tomb.
Reflect: Have you ever wondered why Jesus was abandoned by His Father? Why there was no response when Jesus cried out to the Father with those famous words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was abandoned by the Father in our place, because it’s what we deserve. And because He was abandoned for us when He cried out, when we cry out, despite what it might feel like at times, the Father will never abandon us. He hears your cries, and the Father will never turn His back on you.
Connect: Clearly the words of Psalm 22 were on Jesus mind at His crucifixion. Take a few moments to meditate on Psalm 22, thanking God that Jesus was abandoned in your place, so that you might never be abandoned by the Father.
- Rev. John McCombs
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.