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Sacrifice and Desertion

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Sacrifice and Desertion Reply with quote

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:4-7)

The prophesy was of One who would know the Word as it was given to Him from God so that He might rouse in His creation the true faith of the Lord. The prophesy was of One who was sinless, despite whatever the world might present, He was stronger. The prophecy was of One who drew His strength from God, so that nothing which was done to Him could sway Him from the glory of the Father. The prophecy of Isaiah would be fulfilled so that all the children of God might know Him, love Him and have everlasting life through Him.

Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11)

As the Father is in Him, so He is in the Father; but He does not live to oppress us, rather He died for His love for us and rose so that we might live. Blessed are we that our God should seek to walk among us, teach us, serve us, to even die for us so that we may see the true example of the meaning of the Word. No matter the cup before Him, He did not turn from the Father, He remained in Him so that we too might remain in Him. Blessed are those who witnessed. Blessed are those who rise from generation after generation in the light of the sacrifice made so that all might live through Him.

In prayer, it is right to offer Him thanks and praise that despite our sins, through our belief in Him, we will find the path to heaven. Some will spurn Him, not knowing what they do, but blessed are those who strayed from Him, yet realized the emptiness without him; the eternal despair which waits in the void without His love. Blessed are those who follow Him. Blessed are those who respond to His call. Blessed are those who kneel in prayer to profess their faith, to pray for forgiveness, to pray in thanks for His mercy and who seek the loving hand of the Lord to guide them in all which they do.

But when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples. And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord? But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born. And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it.

And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father. And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet.

Then Jesus said to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. And Peter answering, said to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized. Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, that in this night before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to him: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner said all the disciples.

Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me.

And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak.

Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word. Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.

As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.

And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword: and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?

In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: You are come out as it were to a robber with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me. Now all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled.
(Matthew 26:20-55)

And so it was that those closest to Him would flee from His side; flee in fear, not of God, but of men; but it had to be so that the prophesy might be fulfilled. It was a world divided which took Him to the cross. It was a world where divisions among men and women drove strife and acts of evil. It was the divisions of men and women which brought sorrow, despair, discontent and violence. God created all His children so that they may choose to live in peace and love of one another and with their God, but instead, they chose to live according to their own designs.

In this day, we might be tempted to sit in judgment of our fore fathers and mothers for what they did and what they failed to do. Through the lens of what we know now, we might look upon them with disdain for their part within the events which unfolded. In this time, in the safety of our homes and churches, we may be tempted to rise in condemnation for what some did and what others failed to do; but then, we must understand that it was not just Roman or Jew, but the sins of all the children of God which required the prophecy to be fulfilled so that all might be saved from their sin. We, therefore, stand in condemnation of ourselves.

In self righteousness, we may be tempted to profess, “I would not deny Him;” “I would not flee when He was in need;” “I most certainly would not betray Him;” “I would not nail Him to the cross;” “I would never have struck Him, scourged Him, taunted Him or thrust a spear into His side.” In this moment, we may be willing to proclaim all those things. It may be our fervent desire and it may even cause us great pain to think that we could have been the one; but what if we were?

Though we did not hold the hammer, though we did not hold the shaft; through what we have done and what we have failed to do, it was most certainly us. Through our faults and through our sin, we caused the stripes. When we do nothing to fulfill His Word, we cheer for His crucifixion. When we stand silent as others disparage His Word, we hold the nails. When we follow in the path of the one who deceives, we are the thrust of the spear.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know it is true. It may bring tears to our heart if we truly love Him to know that we are so weak. We may be brought to anger when we realize what we could have done and should not have done. We might be brought to despair, or we might be stirred to live and act in faith.

If we were there, would we have picked up the sword to defend Him? If we had, it would have been our hand that He would have stilled, instead, it was our ear which He healed; for being One with the Father, He is the fulfillment of mercy to all His children. Let us not judge what others may have done or may have failed to do. Let us not look behind us to the many wrongs which lay in our past. Let us instead, look to the future, look to what we still have the opportunity to do, the time we may spend in prayer, the works we may accomplish in fulfillment of the commandments of love. If we truly believe in the Lord, then, let us ask in prayer for the wisdom, courage and strength to live according to His Word.

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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