Thus It Must Be

Matthew 26: 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. 51 And, behold, one of them 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? 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.

Jesus had spent the night praying in Gethsemane.  The disciples had a feeling things were about to change.  Even though Jesus explained how it would be—his body and blood given for them—they were still confused. Jesus went into the depths of the garden wrestling with what was to come.  The disciples had fallen asleep.  Jesus woke them three times.  The worst thing we can do is go to sleep on God.  We must concentrate on not letting anything or anyone getting us away from Jesus.  Hold onto him.

Thirty pieces of silver was not and is not a lot, but Judas bargained with others to give Jesus up.  He sold Jesus for a pitiful amount of this world’s riches.  For just a little bit of nothing people still sell out Jesus.  After the third time of waking the disciples Jesus let them sleep; however it wasn’t long until the mob came and Jesus told them to rise because the time had come.  The devil’s plan was to separate the people from Jesus and do away with him.  The cry today is to do away with the church, the Bible, and God.  It’s more critical than we can imagine.  Jesus could have destroyed the crowd that came after him.  When he asked who they sought, he admitted “I am he.”  Why?  This was how it had to be.

In order for us to be saved someone had to step in and do it.  The disciples were foggy minded from sleep but saw Jesus turn himself over to them.  Jesus knew it was us or him.  He stepped up and said this is how it has to be.  No one has to perish.  All can come to repentance.  The only way to make a way was for Jesus to do it.  He willingly surrendered himself so we wouldn’t have to be bound.  His love was shown.

Judas carried the money as treasurer of the disciples.  He was trusted.  Yet it was him who betrayed Jesus.  Instead of being in the garden praying, he left the supper table and put into place the plan to stop what Jesus was doing.  Don’t let anyone take your Master away.  No matter how big it is, don’t give Jesus up for anything.  This world is just like the mob that came for Jesus—bent on getting rid of him.  Betrayal is everywhere.  Now is the time to hold fast to the Master and each other.  Keep hold on the Bible and the church.

Imagine the look Judas got from the other disciples.  When he betrayed Jesus he lost it all. The disciples had been told that one of them would betray him.  They all asked “is it I?”  Even Judas asked.  Imagine the look Jesus gave him.  Peter was told that Satan desired to sift him like wheat.  Peter said he would die for Jesus.  The response from Jesus was that before morning he would deny him three times.  Peter was brave in the Upper Room.  He didn’t realize how bad it would be in a few hours.  We say nothing will hinder us.  We can get so pushed and pressed that any of us might falter.  We’ve not seen bad times yet.  If threats being made don’t get to us, our health or family might.  The devil will sift us.  Jesus has prayed for us.  If we say we’ll be faithful that means regardless of how bad it gets we’ll stick with Jesus.  When you feel alone, remember God is there. Peter felt alone but Jesus was just up there on the porch.  Instead of looking to him, he focused on the crowd and denied knowing the Lord to the point of cursing and swearing.  The rooster crowed and Peter ran into the streets hiding and wept bitterly.

We’ll have those moments.  We’ll either hang in there or give in.  The devil will put pressure on us.  The Lord wants us to hold on.  Peter was given another chance.  Our chances are getting slim.  We’re going to be tried like never before.  The devil will say “if you’ll just….”  Will we keep on going or give Jesus up?  We don’t have to be like Judas and Peter were that day. Don’t hesitate.  Be a shining light.  As times get harder we know what to do—be faithful.  Don’t sell him out.  Don’t deny him.

In the garden Peter slung his sword and cut off the ears of a servant.  Jesus stopped him.  It has to be this way.  He healed the man’s ear.  Peter made a good gesture but Jesus said no because scripture had to be fulfilled.  Satan had a plan but God’s plan was greater.  Jesus had only to speak and legions of angels would be at his disposal, but he held the angels back for you and me.  Because he was willing to be arrested, tried, and put on the cross he gave us the way to be saved.  When they come after us we can keep Jesus.  Don’t let anyone get in your way of staying with Jesus.  There is no price so great.  We have the power within us not to give in.

Later Peter used a different sword—the Word of God—and 3,000 souls were saved.  Are we willing to stand?  It’s not so much defending him; it’s not giving him up.  The mob is getting close.  The devil has us in his sights.  Will we let him get to us?  Let’s stand for Jesus.  Be his disciples all the way.  This must be.  If we ever needed strength and grace, we need it now.  Will we stand the test?  Let’s determine that nothing will get in the way of Jesus in our lives.

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