This week in our reading as a congregation we are reading the last five chapters of Matthew.  The last three chapters are Matthew’s record of the last few hours of Jesus’s life.  In these last hours, Jesus reveals to the disciples that the end is near.  The elders of the Jews step up their plot to stop Jesus.  Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples and gives new meaning to the meal as He institutes a new supper for His Kingdom; one that will help His disciples remember the significance of what He is about to suffer and why He would suffer.  Before the meal, Judas makes an agreement with the elders to betray Jesus.  After the meal, Jesus reveals that the disciples will abandon Him in His hour of need, Peter promises allegiance, but will deny knowing Jesus three times before the night is over.  Then Jesus prays for relief, but submits to God’s plan.  Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss then the mockery of trials begins that ends with the release of a criminal named Barabbas and the crucifixion of the innocent – Jesus.  But that is not the end of the story.  The rest of the Good News is that He did not remain in the tomb.  The angels tell the women who came to anoint the body of Jesus that Sunday morning, “Go and tell the disciples that He is risen, just as He said!”  Matthew’s account ends with Jesus telling the disciple to tell others this great message.

Dear Father, Thank you for this great news.  Thank you for suffering through your Son, the innocent one, the punishment due the guilty Barabbas – me.  Thank you for graciously setting me free in Christ.  Father, may I always have the courage and boldness to declare the offer of freedom your provide through this great sacrifice to all mankind.  May I see the opportunities before me to spread this good news.  Give me the strength to live in Lour Love and to walk in Your Path.

In Jesus Name,

– Have a great day.

– Scott

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