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Giving Thanks in The Midst of Betrayal

 

Communion Meditation:“Giving Thanks in The Midst of Betrayal” Based upon I Corinthians (chapter 11)   “On the night in which He was betrayed…our Lord took bread…and when He had given thanks…” 

What a wonderful Lord we serve!  Here He is—knowing that He would be betrayed by Judas—knowing He would be persecuted, tortured, and killed—and He takes time to thank God the Father.  Wow!  What love; what focus; what courage! Ever wonder what Jesus thanked God the Father for at that moment?First we need to be clear that Jesus is not thankful for the betrayal.  Instead, He manages to be thankful in a time of betrayal.  He manages to stay God-focused and still see the bigger picture, for which He is thankful. Maybe he was thankful for…the bread and wine—food—daily provisions from God.  Maybe He was thankful for the Passover Seder which was rich in salvation symbolism. Maybe the chance to relax with His 12 disciples.  Maybe He was thanking the Father for the privilege to be the means of salvation for the world, as hard as that would be.  Maybe He was thanking the Father for His extra strength to make it through such a night.  We’ll never know for sure until we meet our Lord face to face. The fact remains: Christ’s ability to give thanks during a horrible time in His life tells us a great deal about Our Lord and what kind of Man He was.  This is the noble type of Man we all ought to follow and emulate!

1) Our Lord puts us before Himself!At the first hint of betrayal, Jesus could have run away and hid.  Instead He realizes the bigger picture: this betrayal is all part of God’s plan for our redemption.  No persecution—no fulfillment of prophecy.  No trial and torture—no cross.  No cross—no resurrection.  No cross and resurrection—no washing away of our sins, no salvation made possible.  Jesus came so we might be saved.  Though this night of betrayal would end horribly for Himself, He “stays the course” for our sake. 

2) He was courageous!We serve a Lord who is not a coward, a Lord willing to die for His people.  The word “courage” does not mean that you have no fear.  Courage means you do have fear yet still choose to face the challenge.  Jesus stood boldly for God the Father. 

3) Jesus stayed focused when it counted most!  Jesus could have easily been swept up in the immediate crisis.  Instead He remains focused on His reason for human existence: to become the means of salvation, to make possible a restored harmony once again between humanity and God. 

4) Jesus not only met the challenge of evil, sin and betrayal head on, He was able to “rise above it”! Jesus could have got bogged down in all the small details, all the legal arguments of the Sanhedrin, all the normal fears that any Man feels when faced with torture.  Yet He manages to rise above all that.  He keeps a God-perspective, seeing the world events as part of a greater plan.  Nothing would keep Jesus from becoming the Living Sacrifice for our sins. 

Conclusion: Jesus Christ is The Role Model after which we should shape our lives.  He was/is a Man of self-sacrifice, of enduring love, or incredible courage and Godly-focus, and victorious.  That’s a Savior worth knowing!  That is a God worthy of our worship!  That is a God worthy of our communion!  

Rev. Bruce R. Sandy | The Old Mystic Baptist Church  | February 5, 2012

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