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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 26’

Jesus’ View of Failure

And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? – Jesus (Matthew 26:40)

How did Jesus handle the failures of his disciples? Sometimes with chiding and other times with teaching but always with mercy, grace, and understanding.

We see Jesus on his worst day needing his friends — but they just weren’t there for him. Far from rejecting them, he understood and later sent them out to change the world!

We fail, too. We fall asleep when we should be alert, we mess things up and sometimes do short-term damage to his causes, yet he understands. He sometimes chides our conscience, other times he sends us to relearn a lesson or two, but through it all he is tender, kind and understanding.

Like with his first disciples, he knows our failures are not final – he has his purposes for us, still.

What lessons have you learned of the tenderness of Christ for our failures?

– fritz@langgang.com

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Abraham …bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar … But the angel of  the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” …  “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” …  Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram … and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. – Genesis 22:9b-12-13 (NIV)

Why such a story like this in our Bible? A man being told to kill his son on an altar – the idea is repugnant to us today!

But human sacrifice was often demanded by the gods and religions of Abraham’s day.  What could be more dear to a man than his only son, and what could show his devotion more than sacrificing that son on an altar.

But the God of the Bible is different; Abraham had to learn that and so do we.  In this one event God established two (2) critical lessons:

  1. God doesn’t want human sacrifice like the other gods (demons) required. He’s not interested is us giving him some thing, no matter how dear, he wants us to give him ourselves.
  2. God institutes the concept of substitution.  God, himself, provides the substitute – here it was a ram for a son, but later it would be Christ tasting death1 for us that we may go free.

So, how was the sacrifice of Christ NOT human sacrifice?  Because it was Christ’s self-sacrifice.  Jesus was not the victim2 but the instigator and voluntary participant. He was on a mission – not to satisfy some whim of a deity but to free mankind from the bondage of sin.

Charles Wesley, an Anglican priest, brother to John Wesley and co-founder of Methodism expressed it this way,

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
3

– fritz
1 – Hebrews 2:9
2 – John 10:17-18, Matthew 26:53
3 – Hymn, “Oh For A Thousand Tongues” by Charles Wesley

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