Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate notes for Maundy Thursday Message; April 13, 2017

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem…

The cleansing of the temple…

The teaching and the miracles…

All of these displayed God’s Power! All of these were displays of the sheer volume of energy, gracious strength and good will of Jesus flowing towards us. I suspect that the faith of the disciples soared between the Triumphant Entry on Sunday and Thursday of that fateful week.

The Passover meal was, and still is, a high holy feast on the Jewish calendar. Jesus and his inner circle, the twelve original disciples, gathered together for a meal. Over and over, as they followed the liturgy of the sacred meal, Jesus reiterated His love for them. Not satisfied with just words, Jesus even knelt before each of them to wash their travel-weary feet.

Earlier I said that I suspect that the faith of the disciples soared between the Triumphant Entry and the time of the Seder meal.

That is why, when Jesus cautioned about tests, trials, and persecutions that lay ahead for the Disciples and His followers, they were confident that they could face anything.

Peter even said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33)

All of us have been there. All of us have times in our lives when our faith feels unshakable and unassailable. Surrounded by so many proofs of God’s love, encouraged by a personal relationship with Jesus, and emboldened by the nudging of the Holy Spirit how could we ever doubt?

Times like that are the most perilous times on our Christian journeys. It is in those times of unshakable and unassailable faith that we so often fail and come short of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We are in good company. Before daybreak the next day, Peter swore three times that he had never heard of Jesus.

Maundy Thursday represents our moral and spiritual failures; failures that follow shortly after our moments of high commitment. Maundy Thursday represents the times when, having made great promises, we fail to deliver. Maundy Thursday represents the times when we let God and ourselves down and are faced with the certainty of our own weakness and inadequacy.

Every story and every situation has two sides to it. Maundy Thursday is also the beginning of the most hopeful stage of our Christian journey. There is no Resurrection without Good Friday, and there is no Good Friday without Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday asserts that when we place our trust in ourselves, we will eventually fail. Maundy Thursday asserts that when we fail to acknowledge our reliance on God’s grace and guidance, we will eventually fail.

Jesus warned Peter, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.” (Luke 22:34)

That was not said with condemnation. That was not said as a way to lay a guilt trip. That was not said with rejection. Jesus knows that for something new to come forth, there has to be a loss. Jesus knows that for new life to spring forth, something has to die.

Complacency, arrogance, conceit, pride, smugness and self-satisfaction are good candidates for that.

God knew that on the other side of Easter, Peter would find the power that never fails.

God knows that on the other side of Easter, we will find what we need.

As we approach the most solemn day of our Christian calendar, the joy of the Lord is your strength. God is by your side… even when we fail God and disappoint each other.

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