---- Matthew 26:31-35
For those of us in the Christian community, this week will take us to the high points and low points of our faith. As the verses above remind us, our spiritual ancestors, the original disciples, all echoed the sentiments of Simon Peter......"We will NEVER falter or fail in our allegiance to you, Lord!" How filled with bravado and confidence they were! They were so sure of themselves!
Meanwhile, the dark shadows of the enemies of Jesus were gathering as plots unfolded and the accursed blood money was exchanged. One of those closest to the Master would become the traitor, and another would become the Prince of Denial. All would become cowards lacking the slightest shred of courage or faith.
How did it come to this? How did those who so loudly and publicly proclaimed, "Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" become those who hid themselves out of sniveling, self-serving fear? In short, that is always the potential, for the seeds of denial and failure are sown in all our hearts because of our fallen humanity. We are sinners who in their very best moments cannot win for themselves the very salvation and right standing with God they so desperately need. The story of humanity from Genesis onward is the story of great hopes and dreams, abject rejection of the Heavenly Father and His covenant love, and His redemptive acts lovingly performed for His people.
And THAT is the real story of this week! From Palm Sunday onward, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and the Atoning death of our Lord Jesus on Calvary's cross are stark reminders that while we fail to live up to our big promises, God NEVER fails to perform His divine will! We may have supreme confidence in Him to honor His promises and provide all that is needed for our lives and salvation.
Remember as you celebrate the events of this week: the evident dichotomy presented in the Scriptures between the disciples and their Lord. They promised big things and failed. Jesus promised deliberate obedience to the Father and fulfilled all the Law's demands. Let every event of this week and the overwhelming reality of Easter Sunday drive you to your knees with expressions of gratitude for His loving performance on our behalf. As the old hymn says, "Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise!" Live that praise this week!