Saturday, August 05, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Matthew 26:36-56

I read this passage this morning and found myself speechless.  Do I have to write anything “insightful”?  I see what everyone else sees, the full anguish of Jesus’ soul, spirit, and body, something we can never know, only feel some part of it. We depend on the four gospels for the whole picture.  Jesus is in anguish because of the burden of what is about to happen and that humanly, his friends are leaving him. One betrays openly, the others secretively. 

The passage ends with “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” I am reminded of how perfect, how well designed the Bible is.  It hangs together internally so well.  This passage is all about prophecy fulfilled, the Old Testament and his own.  Everything he told them is coming true.  Everything he is doing is so the Scripture can be fulfilled.

Lest I miss it in literary analysis, let me reiterate my theme.  If Jesus is who he said he was and whom we believe, then the cross was worse for him than others, as horrendous as it was.  It is only because of Jesus identity that we study the cross; otherwise it is just another brutal execution. He didn’t die as a martyr and for us to follow a martyr’s example. 

If he isn’t God the Son then he wasn’t a martyr, but a blasphemer to the Jews and while they were duplicitous, they were following the Law as far as blasphemers.  If he didn’t die as the Scriptures and he foretold had to happen for the redemption of the world, then we are just voyeurs and sadists to study the pain he went through. Only if he is the Son of Man, the Messiah, the Anointed, the Second Person of the Trinity does the cross matter.  We can watch movies about how much he suffered but the reaction is not “or poor Jesus, weren’t the Romans cruel” but “My Lord and My God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

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