A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
Pastor Robert M. Celeste MCAC
Today's Christian thought: Monday March 15th, 2004
As we took Matthew 23,24 and 25 as one continuous thought, so should we consider Matthew 26:1 through 27:50 as one thought as well. For as you will see, the Prince of Peace, the Lord God of Creation, the God of life, did not raise a finger to prevent His being sent back to heaven. Jesus, who healed the sick, chased out demons and devils, caused the blind to see and the lame to walk, raised the dead and fed thousands with less than a bushel of food, never raised a finger to prevent satan's minions from ending His earthly ministry and sending Him back to heaven. Yet so many of us, who call ourselves Christians, followers of Christ, fight tooth and nail to stay here and not go to heaven. Why?
We get shots, transplants and let them inject our bodies with poisons called chemotherapy. We allow them to beam us full of radiation, all for a little more time here, avoiding going home to be with the Lord. Over the next two thoughts, today and this coming Wednesday, we will be looking at how the Lord acted, as sinful servants of satan sold Him out, insulted Him, spit at Him, hit Him, beat Him, whipped the skin off of Him, put thorns on His head, mocked Him, tortured Him, denigrated Him, ripped His cloths off of Him, nailed His hands and feet to a cross, stabbed Him, feed Him spit, and even thought about breaking His legs. All in an attempt to make Him beg them to let Him live. And if not beg, at least ask them to let Him live.
He even stopped Peter from putting up a defense for Him by saying to Peter: "Put up again thy sword into his place: ... Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?" Think about that for a moment, Jesus looked at Peter and in essence said; Peter, put away your sword, if I wanted to put up a fight, I could just look up to heaven and God the Father would give me twelve legions of angels, twelve legions of angels under My command.
They had come up against Jesus with somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 men, and here the Lord was saying that if He wanted, He could have twelve legions of angels. A legions is six thousand. Think about it, they had six hundred men and Jesus, could have had seventy two thousand angels by simply looking up to heaven and asking God the Father to send them. 72,000 supermen. But, He didn't. Why do you suppose Jesus didn't lift a finger for His defense? Why do you suppose He didn't ask God to send down 72,000 angels?
It is because Jesus, needed to fulfil all that He had instructed the prophets of Old Testaments times to write about the things that had to be done to prove the deity and proof of the Christ Additionally, the Son of God knows what life on earth is like and He knows what life in heaven is like and as One who knows what both are like, He was willing to put up with whatever they threw at Him to get back home again. So, the better question is why do we fight so hard to stay here.
Matthew Chapter Twenty-six
1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty(sneakily), and kill Him. 5 But they said, "Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people."
6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, "To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
10 When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but Me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Yet, we are not sure who the woman is that is discussed in 6-13. So, it is not the name that is important is the action that is important. When you witness to a man, it is not your name that is important, but your action of witnessing that is important.
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 and said unto them, "What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you?" And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that time he (Judas Iscariot) sought opportunity to betray Him (Jesus).
17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, "Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?" 18 And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, 'The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples'.
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. 20 Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, "Lord, is it I?" 23 And He answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me. 24The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. He that dippeth his hand means he that takes a piece of bread and soaks it in the juices in the bowl at the same time that I do. What Jesus was doing was pointing out Judas Iscariot without Judas the traitor knowing that he was being pointed out.
25 Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, thou hast said.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. 27 And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I WILL SMITE THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED ABROAD. 32 BUT AFTER I AM RISEN AGAIN, I WILL GO BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE (Zechariah 13:7). In verse 31 Jesus reminds them of what He had dictated to Zechariah over four hundred years earlier. That to be the Christ, one must be smited, that the flock would be scattered and that He would meet them again in Galilee when they got to Galilee.
33 Peter answered and said unto Him, "Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended." 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. 35 Peter said unto Him, "Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee". Likewise also said all the disciples.
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (John and James), and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. 39 And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.
40 And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Remember what Peter said back in verse 33? Notice how the Lord instructs and informs us, pray for the spirit of man is indeed willing to serve God, but the flesh is weak, so pray, pray and pray for strength.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. 43 And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. The prayer that Jesus prayed in verses 36-39 is, in my opinion, the prayer found in John chapter seventeen.
45 Then cometh He to His disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me. Rest is important, a tired man makes mistakes, is on edge and says things he might wish later he didn't say. So try to be rested before each day, each day the Lord gives you.
47 And while He yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he (Judas Iscariot) that betrayed Him (Jesus) gave them a sign, saying, "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast." 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, Master"; and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him. Back in verse 15 Judas made a deal with satan's minions to betray the Lord. In verses 24-26 Jesus identifies and confirms that the He knows that Judas is the betrayer. In verses 47-49 we see Judas actually selling out the Lord. Yet in verse 50 Jesus still does not condemn Judas but instead calls him friend. As with us, Jesus does not condemn, we condemn ourselves, just a Judas condemned himself. Today men who are not Born Again Christians are betraying and rejecting the Lord just as Judas did and the results are the same, they condemn themselves, just as Judas condemned himself.
51 And, behold, one of them (Peter) which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?, that thus it must be. Have you heard Peter referred to as a coward for his denying the Lord three times? Well, here in 51 we see Peter going up against 600 well armed men with nothing but a sword. And he did it all alone, not exactly what I would refer to as an act of cowardice.
55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me. 56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. THEN ALL THE DISCIPLES FORSOOK HIM, AND FLED (Lamentations 4:20).
57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 and said, "This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days." Jewish law required that there be two witnesses whose testimony was identical.
62 And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, "Answerest Thou nothing? what is it which these witness against Thee?" 63 But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, "I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, "He is guilty of death." 67 Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying, "Prophesy unto us, Thou Christ, Who is he that smote Thee?" Just as the high priest and his cronies knew that Jesus is the Christ, so do many today. And just like the high priest and his cronies many today are so in love with the things of this world that they want to stay here and even deny the Lord for a bit more time here on earth amongst earthly treasures. Treasure that rust, that moths eat, that wear out, get old and fall apart, but are gods to many on earth. Things that are so important and are so worshipped by many that they will do anything for a bit more time here with them, even though it means putting off going home to be with the Lord. Or as is the case with so many, being judged by the Lord.
69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, "Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee." 70 But he denied before them all, saying, "I know not what thou sayest." (one)
71 And when he (Peter) was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, "This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 And again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the man." (two)
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, "Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee." 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, "I know not the Man (Jesus). (three)
And immediately the cock crowed." 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:1-75 ACP/KJV)
In verses 69 thru 74 Peter denied the Lord, and that according to Matthew 10:33 should have condemned Peter to being denied by God, but look at what Peter did, "he went out, and wept bitterly." In this chapter we have seen two Apostles, Peter and Judas Iscariot. Jesus topld both of them ahead of time what they were going to do, and both did exactly what Jesus said they would do. They both denied Jesus, and Jesus condemned neither, but Peter saved himself by repenting, for that is what "he went out, and wept bitterly." means. Judas Iscariot is a different story, as we will come to see, Judas instead of repenting and going to work for the Lord, kills himself.
If I were allowed to only say one thing to you it would be this: Repent, go to the Lord Jesus on bended knees asking Him to forgive your sins and to accept you as one of His as you accept Him as Lord and Master. And then go out and preach the gospels to every creature giving not a thought for your own life but focusing only on spreading the news that Jesus is the Christ and it is only through Him that anyone can be forgiven by God and Saved.
The Lord bless you for taking the time to read this very long thought, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for my friend Mac, pray for Rush and Michael Savage. While the Lord does not need the platforms and audiences that Rush and Michael have, they, Rush, Michael and their audiences need the Lord.
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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