Scripture Reference: Mark 14
In the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion He experienced many moments of great inner as well as physical torment. Before He was taken away to be tried and crucified He spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to God. Jesus asked God numerous times to relieve him of the agony that he was about to face. The thought of what was about to happen was becoming overbearing for Jesus and He was filled with sorrow because of it. Nevertheless he submitted to God’s will because He knew that this was his purpose for coming to Earth.
While Jesus is dealing with this inner torment He was being set up by one of His own disciples. Judas Iscariot had already plotted to betray Jesus and turn him over into the hands of the people that wanted to kill him. This man had walked and talked with Jesus for many years. He was by Jesus’ side witnessing all of His miracles and wonders. This same man was the one that betrayed Jesus and began the events leading up to his death. This same man betrayed Jesus for a little money. He gave Him up to the people that were going to kill Him.
Jesus was arrested and taken before the high priests and accused of blasphemy. They wanted Him to die for these accusations. They tore Jesus’ clothes, beat Him, spit on Him, and mocked Him. As Jesus was dealing with this physical torment another one of His disciples was denying Him. Peter was even closer to Jesus than Judas. He was one of Jesus’ right hand man. He was right beside Jesus when He was performing miracles. He walked on water with Jesus. He was even trying to defend Jesus when the mob arrested Him. Now at Jesus’ lowest moments the same Peter who said that he would never betray Jesus has turned his back on Him. He is telling people that he doesn’t even know Jesus. He denied being a part of His ministry. Peter denied Jesus 3 times.
Judas Iscariot represents all of the people that know Jesus’ word but choose to ignore it. These are the people that place the things of the world over their relationship with Christ. These are the people that spend their entire lives pursuing their dreams and chasing fame and fortune and neglect to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Peter represents all of the people that put up a facade of righteousness to the world but are full of wickedness. These are those people that are saved and holy all day on Sunday but for the rest of the week they are living in sin. These are the pastors over churches that are sleeping with members of their congregations. These are the ministers and evangelists that are abusing and neglecting their families. These are the members of church that are raising their hands and praising God during church but gossiping, lying, and passing judgement on others.
Whether you find yourself in either of these categories or you are struggling with your relationship with Christ remember that Christ suffered and died for us all. He knew that Judas would betray Him. He knew that Peter would deny him. He also knew that many more people would betray Him. This did not stop Him from giving His life for us. All of the torment that He experienced was for each and everyone of us.
Think about how Jesus must have felt knowing that the people closest to Him were turning their backs on Him. What a terrible feeling that must have been. He feels that same pain when we betray Him today. Every time we sin we are putting Jesus through all of that pain over and over again. Just think of the nails rammed into His hands and feet, crown of thorns placed on His head, and the slow and agonizing death that He experienced. He endured that for us all. He dealt with this torment so that we would all have access to the kingdom of Heaven.
Thank you for all of the sacrifices that you made for us. Thank you for giving us numerous chances even after we have disappointed you so much. Bless us that we may acknowledge you as Lord and Savior in our lives. Bless us as we go through our lives to keep you first because without your sacrifice we would not have access to everlasting life. In your name Amen.