Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-29-24

Jesus’ time with his disciples celebrating the Passover was complete. He would now suffer from the rejection of his very own people. The betrayer was in place and Jesus knew the cross stood before him. Jesus turns to the disciples and says, “Pray, that you will not give in to temptation. In a little while you won’t see me anymore, But a little while after that, you will see me again.” You will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. No one can rob you of that joy! (John 16:16,19-20, 22).”

After midnight, Friday morning, Jesus walked to the Mount of Olives with his disciples, found a quiet place, and prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. He shared a prayer only a true High Priest would pray when facing such agony. Who was on Jesus’ mind? His disciples…you, me, and the ones who would come after him and choose to follow.

John 17:1-26 NLT 1 Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.

6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.

9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.

13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

The temple guards came and arrested Jesus; they led him to the house of the Jewish high priest. Peter and the rest of the disciples had all fled. But, Peter lingered in the dark and follow from a distance. He watched as the guards mocked Jesus, spit upon him, cursed and slapped him. The words Peter utter about not knowing Jesus haunted him; he denied his Christ just as Jesus told him he would do!

Later in the day, Jesus would be put through 6 trials and found guilty of sedition—attempting to lead an insurrection. The trials were filled with illegal maneuverings. There was to be no night council meetings, but their hatred drove them to abandon the truth and their leadership responsibilities. When humans hate a person so deeply they lie, connive and seek to silence him or her, they have become a host for Satan—the love of God is not in them.

Jesus was led to Golgotha where he was nailed to the cross on Friday around 9 A.M. for crimes he did not commit. At noon darkness fell; the sun was not allowed to shine. Jesus died at approximately 3 P.M. on the 9th watch. In less than twenty-four hours, Jesus found himself arrested, tried, and executed. He came a long way from Bethlehem’s manger.

Prayer: Lord, there are not enough ways to thank you for taking our sin upon yourself and dying in our place. The prayer of unity and protection you prayed over us as your disciples is so loving, beautiful, and selfless. We know the joy you were referring to is the privilege given to believers; of being able to directly approach the Father through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are One as you, Jesus, are One. Please hear our hearts of gratitude, Lord. May honor and glory be given to you for all you have done to offer salvation to your fallen world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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