The readings for the next two days are longer, and we will not look through all the detail. Perhaps, on your own, or with those in your family you could think more over the verses.
But Luke 22 is full of characters who range from despicable to disappointing, We see the plotting chief priests and the scribes, whom we have been seeing throughout the last few chapters, still seeking to kill Jesus, but still weak in the face of public opinion (v. 2). But the opposition is not just from outside, but from with:
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. (v. 3)
The entrance of Satan does not absolve Judas of responsibility, but reminds us of the cosmic nature of these events.
After the last supper, the rest of the disciples hardly cover themselves with glory, though that may have been their desire (v. 24). They haven’t understood that “the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” Yet they are about to get the supreme example of such.
And then Peter, whose bold confident is met with Jesus’ chilling prediction:
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (v. 34)
Peter goes on to prove Jesus right, out of weakness perhaps, he betrays his Lord three times and at the sound of the cockerel he weeps (v. 62).
It is a sorry story, of human evil and wickedness. The betrayal of evil men alongside the failure of the best.
And yet there is one who stands out, who is different. Who goes to the garden, and again is let down by his slumbering disciples. But he prays:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (v. 42)
The cup is the picture of God’s wrath which he is to drink on the cross. Though he desires for it pass, he submits himself to his Father will. And after praying he heads to drink the cup. Surrounded by evil, weak and failing men, Jesus obediently heads to the cross. And it is clear why he must drink the cup, why his Father will not take it from him, because those he dies for cannot obey where he does. Even the best fail, and the only hope is that he must go to the cross, drink the cup, be the lamb, on their behalf.
Many of us will be inactive this Good Friday, we cannot attend church services, we cannot even go out except for essentials. Though it is right to morn such loss, perhaps there is something to consider. When Jesus went to the cross, his disciples did not go with him, they could not, they simply watched. The rescue that he would bring, only he could he bring, and our response is to trust him.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for my own sin and weakness. I acknowledge that I cannot save myself, I am wholly deserving of your judgement. Thank you that Jesus obeyed where I could not, and trusting in his obedience, I can know my sin is forgiven and I am your child. In Jesus’ name, Amen