And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. ”
And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit.
When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
(Matthew 26;30, 39, 57; 27:2, 31, 50, 59-60; 28:6-7, 16; Acts 1:9-11)
Jesus left the Upper Room following the institution of the Lord’s Supper—crossing the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane. Knowing what He was going to face, He did not hesitate. March on Jesus! March on!
Into the garden, He left the disciples to pray—and instead, they slept—so He prayed alone, wrestling as He would drink the cup. Might it be avoided? No, for this cause He came. March on Jesus! March on!
The violent mobbed seized Him. Peter whipped out his sword to fight for Him, but He could have summoned the legions of heaven to rescue Him. But, He surrendered Himself—the Holy One in the bloody hands of those brutes. March on Jesus! March on!
Marched to trial before the religious and government authorities—a kangaroo court—yet He did not protest, a Lamb led to the slaughter. Brutally beaten and cruelly mocked, yet He did not flee. March on Jesus! March on!
Shouldering the cross:
Up Calv’ry’s mountain, one dreadful morn,
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on a cross,
That He might save them from endless loss. (Avis Christiansen)
March on Jesus! March on!
And so He was nailed to that cross—suffering as none had ever suffered, paying the excruciating price of all sins of all men of all time, that we who received Him might be forgiven. He went where no one else could go—marching to the gates of hell—and declaring His victory over the demonic realm. He crushed the serpent’s head! March on Jesus! March on!
Out of the grave, He walked! Conqueror over death, hell, and the grave—nail-scarred feet strode from the tomb in triumph! No stone could seal His grave. No guards could prevent His exit. March on Jesus! March on!
He walked among men, the Lord of Glory for forty more days until He met the disciples on the Mount of Olives again, where He would commission His church and depart through the clouds—and on to heaven itself. What a reception He received as He returned from His mission now accomplished—on to the throne of His Father, and reunion! March on Jesus! March on!
And the promise is that the very place where His feet last touched the ground, will once more be the place where they will touch down—maybe very soon—and He will seize the scepter of universal dominion, treading all His foes beneath those blessed feet. Lord, hasten that day! March on Jesus! March on!
(Read Jeremiah 17) We have heard the instruction, “Follow your heart!” We dare not! Rather, heed the will of God found in the Word of God. The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Sin has been engraved on it with a diamond-tipped, iron pen, so that what we think is good is bad and that which we brand bad is good.
(Read Jeremiah 16) When you wake up and your house is on fire, you don’t have time to shower and make breakfast—you run out as fast as you can. Typical activities are set aside and we shift into crisis mode. That is essentially what God alerts Jeremiah to in this chapter. Jerusalem is about to be engulfed in the flames of God’s wrath. The usual activities—good in their place—are no longer a priority.
(Read Jeremiah 15:10-21) Self-pity is not a particularly attractive attitude, but an understandable one, given difficult circumstances we may find ourselves in. The prophet Jeremiah was fairly wallowing in it as we come to the fifteenth chapter of this book—and can we blame him?
You may recall Tina Turner’s pop music hit from years ago that posed this question. As we approach Valentine’s Day—a time designated to celebrate love—it is an uncomfortable conversation we need to have. Turner’s song was very cynical—conveying that the relationship of man and women is merely physical in nature and love is just a romantic ideal— an antiquated notion. Many people look at marriage and love that way—even among those who claim Christianity as their faith.
(Read Psalm 5) There are some appointments we should keep today. David met with God first thing in the morning as he prayed. Will you? He came before his King in surrender. He cried out to his God in supplication. Before he looked into the face of men, he looked up to the face of his Master. Can you think of anyone more important to see today?
(Read Psalm 4) There should be earnestness in our praying—not going through the motions, mouthing a few pious phrases, checking it off our “to do list” and then moving on. Such praying is wasted breath. It rises no higher than the ceiling. It is like those who draw near to God with their lips, while their heart is far from Him.
(Read Jeremiah 13:18-27) If we do not humble ourselves, then God will humble us. We can bow our knee to God willingly or God can bring us to our knees forcibly. We can be broken before God in contrition or be broken by God in correction. This is the warning God gave to Judah through Jeremiah.
(Read Jeremiah 13:12-17) When Herbert Hoover ran for President in 1928, his campaign promised, “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” At the time, it was a slogan indicating that the economy would boom and people would prosper under a Hoover administration. Instead, eight months into his presidency, the stock market crashed and the United States entered the Great Depression.