Scripture: Luke 22:7-46 (NRSV)
When I read this passage, I was struck by Jesus and Simon Peter’s conversation. Jesus predicts Simon’s denial in verses 31-32 saying that, “Simon… But I have pleaded in prayer for you … that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.” I think this is truly amazing because Jesus let go of the rejection that Simon would cause him in his self-serving denial and extended grace, forgiveness and encouragement. This was a truly loving thing God allowed to happen. God chose and called a man that denied his son Jesus three times to build up the Body of Christ. This is a depiction of God’s restorative grace – God uses us to bring him glory despite our shortcomings. If I was in Simon Peter’s shoes I would have felt such immense guilt and pain at even the thought of denying my Savior even once let alone three times. It is amazing to see that God, in all his wisdom and knowledge, extended grace and even a great mission for what to do after he had “repented and turned” to him again.
This shows me that God loves and accepts us even before we mess up in life. Simon Peter’s actions resonate with me. At times I am like Peter at sea attempting to walk on water to my Savior. At other times I am like Peter boasting big that I will “go to prison … and even die” in the name of Christ (verse 33). But God, in his infinite wisdom knows even though I will fall short of his immense glory; he still extends grace, forgiveness and gives me a great mission of what to do when I have returned to him. This gives me courage that when I mess up and fall short; I can quickly come running into the Lord’s extended arms of forgiveness and grace.
Scripture: Luke 22:7-46 (NRSV)
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it. 9They asked him, Where do you want us to make preparations for it? 10Listen, he said to them, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters 11and say to the owner of the house, The teacher asks you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? 12He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there. 13So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. 14When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15He said to them, I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. 19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed! 23Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this. 24A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25But he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are those who have stood by me in my trials; 29and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. 33And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death! 34Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me. 35He said to them, When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything? They said, No, not a thing. 36He said to them, But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, And he was counted among the lawless; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled. 38They said, Lord, look, here are two swords. He replied, It is enough.
39He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40When he reached the place, he said to them, Pray that you may not come into the time of trial. 41Then he withdrew from them about a stones throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done. 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46and he said to them, Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.