Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
Around the world, for this one twenty-four hour period, the world recognizes the event of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether or not they acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior is another matter. But, for today, it becomes politically correct to talk about this event, celebrate it, and write about it.
The verses in Jeremiah came up today as my regular reading – as it does in every edition of Daily Manna. I began to think as to how this ties in with the resurrection.
The heart of the disciples were in shock from the events that started with the supper when Jesus tells Judas to go about and do what he had set in his heart to do.
John 13:26-27 “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.”
Judas’ heart was deceived to think he could force the hand of Jesus to reveal Himself as the Jew’s Messiah to bring about the promised kingdom. Yet, Judas wasn’t listening. Jesus even said that the Son of Man must suffer first.
Mark 9:12 “And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.”
Then, there was the scene in the garden.
Because Jesus told them that this time, they should take a sword, meant to Peter that it was to be used. Seeing his master was going to be arrested, Peter rises up and hacks of Malchus’ ear.
John 18:10-11 “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
Peter’s heart was confused to say the least.
Then came Peter’s denial.
Matthew 26:34-35 “Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”
Such bold and prideful words!
But what Peter did not understand was the importance of the spiritual battle he was being called into. Jesus knew that without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Peter’s boldness and loyalty were no match for Satan’s temptations.
Luke 22:31-34 “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”
In the fulfilling of that prophesy, the revelation it brought to Peter’s heart nearly rendered him useless.
Luke 22:60-62 “And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”
Then, there is the heart of the people; who just one week ago, heralded Jesus as royalty as he entered the city; laying palm branches as he rode in on a donkey who were later shouting; “Crucify him!”
How fickle our hearts become when they are allowed to be swayed by public opinion and every wind of doctrine.
I also thought more personally, how my heart can shout and rejoice at the celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then be cold and apathetic not two weeks later.
Galatians 1:6-7 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
I know that I cannot live on a spiritual ‘high’ all the time; but, I can live sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading; ready to hear and obey that which I am instructed. But to actually live with the knowledge that my Redeemer lives – every day.
On the sunny days and in the rain.
On the mountain top and in the valley.
Through pain, trials and suffering, but also through the days of rejoicing, the days we overcome, and the days of victory.
To look at the flowers and know that my God made them for me.
To get away in the country to see the stars uninhibited by the lights of the city.
To hear His voice and feel His presence.
To know that even when I feel most alone, His promise is that He has never left me nor forsaken me!
This day; Resurrection Day, has special meaning. March 29th, 1959 I was born on Easter Sunday morning. It changes every year and only a few times has it ever fallen directly on my birthday. But I also have another birthday – June 18th, 1990: the day I met the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.
Easter was just another holiday until that day. That day it became personal. He did it for ME!
The suffering… The anguish… The scourging… every minute detail that the gospels reveal about those events testify to my heart that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was wholly unselfish and the ultimate act of love anyone could have ever done for me.
Today, we will worship with our church family in a service that has been long practiced and prepared. We will come home to a family meal and share time with those we love. But I want to spend time to thank my Savior.
Sing to Him.
Rest in His mercy and grace.
Don’t let the activities of your day take you away from the One who made it all possible.