INTEGRITY, HONOR AND DEVOTION

Luke and The Lost

People surprise us with their actions because we are so preoccupied with presumptions and with labeling others. We listen to others and decide on the word of someone else’s gossip. But when we stop and see people for who they really are and relate to them in person, we are humbled and begin to see the worth, quality and gifts of each individual.

As we read the next passage in Luke retelling the Passion of Christ and His journey to the Cross for our sin, we see a one man of honor, another man of integrity who stepped up with courage and a group of devoted women who only leave to get what they need to give their Lord a decent burial. The dedicated women rested on the Sabbath as commanded fulfilling the Law. (The women’s minds were probably not at rest).

Do you see what I see? Not all religious leaders were against Jesus. Not all Roman soldiers were mocking Him. Not all people in the crowd were jeering. Some were weeping, grieving and keeping watch.

What did Jesus see in the hearts of humanity as He looked down from the cross?

Luke 23 Jesus on the cross with others

Luke 23, The Message
47 When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”

48-49 All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.

50-54 There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

55-56 The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.

Think about it a little more…
–A Captain of the Roman guard, in charge of this act of cruelty, ordered to finish the work, gives honor to God and His Son. “Surely this is the Son of God” (in other translations) “This man was innocent.” The Captain said it out loud, a man of honor giving honor to God. Not all Roman soldiers were heartless.
–Joseph, a member of the Jewish Council, “a man of good heart and character” or integrity had the courage to approach Pilate who probably didn’t want to hear from any religious leader for a while. Pilate had “washed his hands” of the incident and preferred to get on with his life. Joseph asks for Jesus’ body and lays it in a new tomb. Respect given. Integrity expressed. Not all leaders were against Jesus.
–The women. Our hearts go out to the women who served Jesus and his companions during ministry and now continuing to serve him in what they perceive as death. Not all of Jesus followers ran away. The women weep but do not leave as He is being crucified. They watched and kept vigil. I’m sure our Lord noticed. They followed to see where they put the body. They had a plan to gather burial items to embalm the body with dignity and respect, but they also obeyed the Sabbath by resting. But at the crack of dawn the next day….

Dear Heavenly Father,
We lump everyone into categories. We are quick to assume and label. Help us today to refrain from doing this as if we are gods. You see hearts. Help us to see others they way you see them and recognize what you are doing in them and through them. May we be people of integrity who give honor only to You. May we remain devoted and dedicated to do your will and fulfill all you intended for us to be. Apart from you we are nothing. With You, the possibilities are endless!
In Jesus Name, Amen

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PAID IN FULL

Luke and The Lost

There is no greater feeling than to get a receipt for the final payment on a long term loan. That’s small potatoes compared to the debt our Lord paid for us. Paid in full is stamped on the hearts of all who believe. But there are still some who don’t want the gift of freedom from debt. Some continue to make payments to sin thinking they can handle this debt all by themselves. Where will that lead?

Luke 23, The Message
Skull Hill
26-31 As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

32 Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.

33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

34-35 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

36-37 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”

38 Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

40-41 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

44-46 By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.

Luke 23 Jesus on the cross

Think about it a little more…
–Jesus paid it all. Truly.
–Every sin ever committed in the world was placed on His shoulders. Our sin and His love for us held Him on the cross.
–He fought back with love and forgiveness. “Forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” And to the repentant one, “Don’t worry, today you will join me in paradise.”
–The world goes dark as The Light is snuffed out but only for a little while. Jesus went to hell and back again for our sin, paying our debt to the devil in full. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! No one can take that away from us! It’s finished.
–The Temple Curtain that separated God from common man is now split in two, right down the middle. THE way to God has been opened by Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

How can we possibly deny this act of unconditional love? How can we walk away?

How can we live in gratitude and praise Him for Life and Light? Begin today.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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COMMON ENEMY WHO SAVED THE WORLD

Luke and The Lost

It is sad to say but humans are drawn together by a common enemy. Two very opposing sides in life can come together quickly if both feel threatened by another point of view that affects both of them for any reason. We see it happen in families. We have all heard the phrase “blood is thicker than water”. I have been told by friends in law enforcement that what police dread, most of all, is responding to a domestic dispute call. A man might be harassing and beating on his screaming wife, but when a policeman comes and tries to intervene, both the husband and wife turn on the police officers! Crazy, I know.

Two sisters fight continually until someone at school threatens one of the sisters. Who will fight for their sister? You’ve got it…the other sister. Common enemy.

Competitive businesses will come together and fight for their justice if the town changes laws or raises taxes for both of them. A common enemy brings all together to fight for their “rights” and privileges to make money. Common enemy.

Countries who have completely opposing views and beliefs about how governments should be run come together when another country becomes a threat to them. Common enemy.

Crowds made up of many individuals with different view points about life come together at a huge concert when a shooter decides to spray them with bullets meant to kill. They suddenly and immediately help each other to escape. They help each other seek shelter and bind the wounds of those who are hurt. Suddenly and without forethought, a “family” of sorts is formed and bonded to fight or flight all because of a common enemy.

Jesus becomes the Common Enemy on the road to dying for our sin. Opposing groups come together to mock Him, slap Him around through the night, and mash a crown of thorns on his head to force blood to drip from his brow. The high priests shuttle Him from the High Council chamber to the Governor who takes Him to Herod. When curious and crazy Herod could not get a “show” from Jesus, He was sent back again to Pilate. All three of these leader groups did not like each other. But now they have a common enemy that bonds them together.

In the meantime the crowd outside who praised His entry with palm branches days before, now join with the rest of Jesus’ accusers all because they now have a Common Enemy…or so they think. He died for all of them. They just don’t know it….yet.

Luke 22-23, The Message
Slapping Him Around
63-65 The men in charge of Jesus began poking fun at him, slapping him around. They put a blindfold on him and taunted, “Who hit you that time?” They were having a grand time with him.

66-67 When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. They said, “Are you the Messiah?”

67-69 He answered, “If I said yes, you wouldn’t believe me. If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.”

70 They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?”

“You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said.

71 But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.”

Luke 23 Pilate

Luke 23

1-2 Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.”

3 Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?”

“Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied.

4 Pilate told the high priests and the accompanying crowd, “I find nothing wrong here. He seems harmless enough to me.”

5 But they were vehement. “He’s stirring up unrest among the people with his teaching, disturbing the peace everywhere, starting in Galilee and now all through Judea. He’s a dangerous man, endangering the peace.”

6-7 When Pilate heard that, he asked, “So, he’s a Galilean?” Realizing that he properly came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed the buck to Herod, who just happened to be in Jerusalem for a few days.

8-10 Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him, he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. He peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations.

11-12 Mightily offended, Herod turned on Jesus. His soldiers joined in, taunting and jeering. Then they dressed him up in an elaborate king costume and sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became thick as thieves. Always before they had kept their distance.

13-16 Then Pilate called in the high priests, rulers, and the others and said, “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him in front of all of you and found there was nothing to your charge. And neither did Herod, for he has sent him back here with a clean bill of health. It’s clear that he’s done nothing wrong, let alone anything deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

18-20 At that, the crowd went wild: “Kill him! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas had been thrown in prison for starting a riot in the city and for murder.) Pilate still wanted to let Jesus go, and so spoke out again.

21 But they kept shouting back, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

22 He tried a third time. “But for what crime? I’ve found nothing in him deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

23-25 But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally they shouted him down. Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted. He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder, and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted.

Think about it…
–Pilate caved because of the crowd. Do we cave when pressed by the crowd?
–Coming together for the common good should be done with wisdom and foresight. The common good might not be of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, 
My heart is overwhelmed with the price you paid for my soul and all others. There are no other words to say how grateful I am, so listen to my heart. You are the “common enemy” of all that is evil who laid down your life so we can be saved and see God again. Thank you, just thank you for you have done, are doing and will do.
In Jesus Name, Amen

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THE LOOK

Luke and The Lost

Overtime and experience teachers develop “the look” that can change behavior situations in an instant. If the teacher is well respected then all it takes is “the look” to get a class to settle down. A well developed “look” can also help an individual student confess to a crime without using any words. We just look at them until guilt takes over and they tell the truth.

Parents also develop “the look” without thinking about it. Their kids know by “the look” when they have crossed the line. The look for me comes from wanting the best for each person. I can’t seem to stop “the look”. What is it about “the look” from someone you love and admire that will stop you in your tracks and help you come to your senses with better thinking and behaving? It’s called unconditional Love.

Jesus had “the look” when he turned to Peter just after the third squawk of the rooster. Peter saw it and melted into a heap of tears of remorse and regret. Peter loved Jesus. Jesus loved Peter. This was not the end of their relationship.

We all make stupid mistakes and fail in our decision making of best choices. We feel “the look” from our Lord spiritually who helps us to stop, confess to ourselves and others we have offended and repent to our Lord. Then we get back up again, because of forgiveness set in place for us from Jesus Christ our Savior and keep moving forward. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. (Most times we learn.)

Luke 22, The Message
A Rooster Crowed
54-56 Arresting Jesus, they marched him off and took him into the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but at a safe distance. In the middle of the courtyard some people had started a fire and were sitting around it, trying to keep warm. One of the serving maids sitting at the fire noticed him, then took a second look and said, “This man was with him!”

57 He denied it, “Woman, I don’t even know him.”

58 A short time later, someone else noticed him and said, “You’re one of them.”

But Peter denied it: “Man, I am not.”

59 About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.”

60-62 Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.

Luke 22 Peter the rock

Something to think about…
–Peter could have rationalized his actions to Jesus by saying, “I lied so I could stay close to you.” But he didn’t.
–Jesus understood Peter’s heart and knew his mind, that’s why He predicted what would happen before it happened. Peter remembered.
–Jesus knows our hearts and what’s in our minds and forgives us and loves us when we confess to ourselves and repent to Him.
–Mistakes and shortcomings do not change the love Jesus has for us.
–Repent as soon as you feel the look of the Savior. Turn and go the opposite direction. His best is what He wants for us.
–There is nothing we have done, are doing and will do that God will not forgive…to be remembered no more!
–Forgiveness is complete because of the love of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross.
–Jesus forgives Peter. Relationship restored and made better. That’s how it is with Jesus…our relationship grows and gets better every day. Why? Because we begin to realize the depth of God’s love day by day and love Him back with more intimacy and intensity.

Dear Heavenly Father. 
Thank you for “the look” from your Holy Spirit that convicts us to stop destructive behavior and thinking and pulls us back to a more full and intimate relationship with You. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for Your love to us. Continue to work with me, but be gentle. All my trust, hope and salvation is in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen

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AS HE SO OFTEN DID

Luke and The Lost
 
I grew up surrounded by praying people. My parents relied on God’s wisdom in decision making. Our church gathered at the altar when making decisions about anything concerning God’s work. When it came time to relocate and build a bigger church across town, we were at the altar. I recall going to the altar even when the color of brick for the new building was being decided. The whole congregation was involved in praying…about everything!
 
In the summertime, I would stay overnight with my grandparents on their farm numerous times. I would have lived there if my parents would have agreed. Staying with Grandpa and Grandma Lacquement meant following their traditions and habits. They had a nightly habit of Bible reading and on your knees praying. This was not a quick Bible story and a hurried “good night, Lord”, you could describe this session in today’s terms as an all out Bible Study.
 
One particular evening I remember coming from Wednesday night “Prayer Meeting” at church to go with them to their home. I was putting my things in the guest room when I was called in for Bible reading. As an older child by then, I decided to ask, with trepidation, because I loved and respected my grandparents greatly, with “We just had Bible Study at church…why…”. Grandpa gave me a passionate “look” that I will never forget. I put down my childishness and picked up my Bible. I never questioned him again. He suggested I pray out loud first that night. I am smiling thinking of this moment. There was no fear in this moment, only love for God who I saw in my Grandpa. I was drawn to God because of Grandpa’s insistence and discipline of prayer and respect for God who gave us all we have.
 
Prayer and reading God’s Word every night on the farm was not just a ritual, it was a necessity to stay in constant communication with God. As a mature adult, I realize that this discipline gave Grandpa and Grandma Lacquement the wisdom, unconditional love, compassion, and even the twinkle in their eyes that I so admired. Maybe that’s why I am compelled to rise every morning to talk with God through Jesus with the guidance of His Holy Spirit and then read His Word and comment in this blog so others will know Him.
 
Where did this love in our hearts for communicating with God come from? It comes from Jesus’ example. He was in constant communication with God about EVERY detail of His mission and purpose. Jesus expressed to all those around Him, “I say what the Father tells me to say. I do what the Father tells me to do.” The first line of our passage prompted memories of Grandpa because of the words, “He (Jesus) went, as he so often did, to Mount Olives. He went there often to pray. He taught His disciples to pray. He prayed for them and for us! He prayed for help and strength and He got it. He prayed passionately for the “cup” of responsibility to be removed quickly followed by “But please, not what I want. What do YOU want?”
 
Jesus’ last instruction to his disciples about prayer was, “Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptations.” This is way we pray unceasingly with conviction and passion. It is so easy to get too busy to pray. That’s when evil presses in on all sides. I don’t know what your habits are for communication with God, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. Try to leave “feelings” out of the equation. Pray because Jesus taught us to pray. Pray because we love Him and want to thank Him for what He did for us. Pray for direction. Pray for the lost.
 
Luke 22 pray
Luke 22, The Message
A Dark Night
39-40 Leaving there, he went, as he so often did, to Mount Olives. The disciples followed him. When they arrived at the place, he said, “Pray that you don’t give in to temptation.”
 
41-44 He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.
 
45-46 He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. He said, “What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptation.”
 
47-48 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than a crowd showed up, Judas, the one from the Twelve, in the lead. He came right up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said, “Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
 
49-50 When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.
 
51 Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him.
 
52-53 Jesus spoke to those who had come—high priests, Temple police, religion leaders: “What is this, jumping me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I’ve been with you in the Temple and you’ve not so much as lifted a hand against me. But do it your way—it’s a dark night, a dark hour.”
 
What do we learn?
–Pray often as Jesus did.
–Pray as if our lives depended on it.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Hallowed is Your Name. May Your Kingdom come and dwell in us and all around us. May Your Will be done in every detail on earth in our lives as it is in heaven. Give us this day all we need to see You, stay focused on You and see Your glory and praise You. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Defeat the evil one who lies in wait. Rescue us. Be our strength and our song all day long and into the night. We will not stop giving you praise and glory forevermore.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.
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ONE WHO SERVES

Luke and The Lost

Why do we feel satisfied and more content when we serve others expecting nothing back in return, doing it just for the joy of helping someone else on their journey? Because it is stamped into the DNA of our being. We are created to give back. Jesus gave the ultimate example of “one who came to serve, not be served” to all humanity when He moved into the neighborhood of earth for awhile.

We go against the grain of pure Life with Christ as His disciple when we posture ourselves to be above others with the attitude of expecting to be served. The very word disciple in the Greek means “one who learns”. I would add that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, we are ones who learn to serve. How will Jesus say at the end of our days, “Well done, servant”, if we do not serve with love and humility, justice and mercy, wrapped up in grace? Mm.

Jesus teaches the disciples, once more, about who they are (and who we are) in Him. They are scrambling thoughtlessly about who will be the greatest in His Kingdom without having a clue about what is about to happen in the next few hours. But we know. We have the whole story. Does this prompt us to serve well with the right attitude of gratitude?

Jesus also follows with warnings to “stay on your toes”, Satan wants you for his own and help each other through times of testing. Serving also means helping each other stay focused on Christ!

Luke 22 service as a leader

Luke 22, The Message
24-26 Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: “Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.

27-30 “Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people.

31-32 “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”

33 Peter said, “Master, I’m ready for anything with you. I’d go to jail for you. I’d die for you!”

34 Jesus said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Peter, but before the rooster crows you will have three times denied that you know me.”

35 Then Jesus said, “When I sent you out and told you to travel light, to take only the bare necessities, did you get along all right?”

“Certainly,” they said, “we got along just fine.”

36-37 He said, “This is different. Get ready for trouble. Look to what you’ll need; there are difficult times ahead. Pawn your coat and get a sword. What was written in Scripture, ‘He was lumped in with the criminals,’ gets its final meaning in me. Everything written about me is now coming to a conclusion.”

38 They said, “Look, Master, two swords!”

But he said, “Enough of that; no more sword talk!”

What do we learn?
–Be more concerned with trying to serve well and less, much less about being served.
–Jesus came as “One who serves”.
–Be ready for Satan to interfere with schemes to draw you away from Christ to serve him. How do we serve the evil one? By being selfish and thinking only of self’s desires to be served.
–Another trick Satan uses is to get us to look good serving always expecting something in return. Avoid that attitude at all cost says, Jesus.
–Need more? Go to Philippians 2 and read Paul’s testimony about the supreme example of serving with humility.

Philippians 2
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Read all of Philippians 2…there’s much more! (There always is… with God’s Word to us about Him.)

Dear Heavenly Father, 
We think badly of those young men clamoring for position right before Jesus’ eyes and ears, but we are the same at times as we serve in Your Kingdom. We repent of those times and move on to greater service with humility. We are grateful when you invite us to join you in your work. Thank you, dear Lord. You are my everything. I adore You. I will serve you by serving others. Keep me focused.
In Jesus Name, Amen

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YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH

Luke and The Lost

Family gatherings bring out the best in humans and sometimes the worst. We love eating together and sharing life with each other. But what if you knew those gathered at your table had been gossiping about you before they came? What if you knew one of them had betrayed who you are to someone else? Would they still be welcomed at your table? This happens in the best of families.

Jesus said to his closest followers, “You have no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering.” His disciples were his brothers, his earthly family. One of them had betrayed him, but Jesus still loved him and said this out loud to ALL of them. WE have no idea just how much Jesus loves us.

Jesus will welcome Judas to the table, but will let him know He knows what evil he is about to do. Jesus, according to John’s gospel, even bends down to humbly wash the feet of His betrayer. As a servant who washes the feet of those who enter a home as guests, Jesus bends down, on His knees to wash ALL those dirty feet.

Then after a memorable meal with his close brothers, Jesus faces torture with His flesh being nailed to splintery timbers of wood. One of his closest disciples, Peter, denies Him, as predicted. Jesus still loves him. All the rest run for the hills. Jesus still loves them and prays for them. Jesus still went to the cross because we had a sin problem that blocked us from God, our Father and this had to be fixed. Jesus, Son of God, came to rectify the sin situation…because He loved us.

Yes, we have NO idea the depth or height of God’s love expressed by His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do that will keep us from the love of God.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Think about the love of God as we read “The Passover Meal”.

Luke 22 given

Luke 22, The Message
1-2 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.

3-6 That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.

7-8 The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.”

9 They said, “Where do you want us to do this?”

10-12 He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.”

13 They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.

14-16 When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”

17-18 Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”

19 Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”

20 He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.

21-22 “Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out—no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.”

23 They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this.

“We love Him because He FIRST loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Do we love God, no matter what?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I am overwhelmed right now, at this moment, with love for You. 
There are no words to express my gratitude and thankfulness for your love so I will just love You back with all that is in me.
In Jesus Name, Amen

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