Pastor May’s Devotion for you…

 Matthew 26:57-68

                 Jesus stands before a crowd of men… men determined to condemn him.  Previous passages have made it clear that they have been seeking the death of Jesus for some time.  Here, verse 59 says it plainly.  And verse 60 shows the lengths to which some of them would go to see it done.  In John 11, Caiaphas made it clear that Jesus should die, before things got out of hand and Rome cracked down on the Jews.  He said it would be better that one man die for the people.

                 In this passage, the logic of these men is clear… even if it is a bit circular.  In their minds, only three things matter:  a. We know God doesn’t have a son.  b. This man claims to be God’s Son.  c. Therefore, he’s a liar (because God doesn’t have a son.).  When Jesus finally tells them who he is (and even adds what that’s going to look like someday!), they tear their robes in anger.  And the high priest says, “Why do we even need to hear any more?”  He came face to face with the Messiah of God… and rejected him.

                 And the rejections continue to this day.  “People don’t rise from the dead.  The Bible and Christians claim Jesus rose from the dead.  Therefore, they are liars (because people don’t rise from the dead).”  We as sinful human beings have gotten quite skilled at justifying and rationalizing what we want to believe deep down.

 So we might try to debate (Someone could argue that just because we haven’t seen a man rise from the dead, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.).  But it proves unconvincing.  Because Sin is so much more than just the “things we do wrong;” it’s a condition… a state we find ourselves in.   And it gets into our emotions, our DNA, our minds and bodies.  Even our logic has been tainted by the stain of sin.  And we all find ourselves in the exact same boat.

 The truth is this: only Jesus’ power can overcome such rejection.  While we turn our backs on Him, he spins us back around.  While we leave, he chases.  And when we run toward death… he dies in our place.  So that we will live with him forever.

 Lord Jesus, that you for your cracking my heart of stone.  Keep me safe in your promises, and use me to bring your hope to all of those hearts of stone around me.  Amen.