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Mary didn’t believe initially, and neither did the two on the Emmaus Road or the eleven apostles. But Jesus doesn’t start again with a new group of disciples, he gently rebukes them. When God rebukes us for our disbelief, this should lead to repentance not discouragement.
We see the most awful and also the most awesome moment in history, as our sin is transferred to Jesus and he is forsaken by God. But when he dies the darkness disappears and the centurion recognises who Jesus really is.
The religious leaders wanted Jesus killed out of self-interest, the crowds just followed the leaders without examining the facts, and Pilate chose to serve the crowd rather than his conscience or justice. They all deserved to die, and we can often be like them. But even those who deserve to die can be forgiven.
Peter had given up everything to follow Jesus. He had witnessed his miracles and confessed Jesus to be Son of God. Yet he disowns Jesus after boldly declaring that he would never do this. This helps us to recognise our own weaknesses and it reminds us of the power of prayer and it helps us to be amazed by the grace of God.
Jesus was not the freedom fighter that the Jewish leaders feared he was, though he does fight and he wins the victory over death. He was not a blasphemer, but really is the Son of God. He is not a helpless victim, but courageously submits to God’s will.
We can never know what Jesus suffered in his darkest hour as he looked into the cup of our iniquities, but we can only marvel, and find forgiveness for our greatest sins, comfort in our deepest sorrows and grace to fight our strongest temptations.
The last meal Jesus had with his disciples is no longer about freedom from slavery in Egypt but freedom from slavery to sin. The Lord’s Supper brings us back to Jesus when we’ve drifted, it reminds us of all Jesus bought for us and that we are part of God’s people, and it helps us to look forward to the celebration meal in God’s Kingdom.
There will be difficult times until Christ returns, but through it all God is in still in control. We must be alert, neither trying to predict when he will return or being unprepared for it, and should continue to love God and one another.
Jesus was the son of David, but he was much more than this. He is also David’s Lord. The religious leaders responded to Jesus with silence, the crowds responded with delight, but we can respond by bowing down and worshipping him.
Jesus refuses to get drawn into pointless debates trying to rank the commandments in order of importance, and neither does he write off the entire law. Instead, he gets to the very heart of the Law
The Sadducees did not believe there was life after death, but thought that if there was then it would have to be a continuation of this life. They didn’t know the power of God. We shouldn’t think of heaven in earthly terms.
Jesus tells a parable holding up a mirror of truth to the religious leaders of the time. When Jesus challenges us with the truth, will we respond, unlike them, by humbling ourselves before him and receive His mercy and freedom.
What Jesus sees in the temple does not please Him. His actions there as well as the fate of the fig tree tells us of the judgement that was coming for the temple and the old covenant system, now that the King has come.