READ: Matthew 26:31-56
THINK: Jesus already knew what it was like to be misunderstood. He was familiar with intense sorrow. He had faced extreme rejection. But He was about to experience a level of suffering that no one else has ever known. This was the purpose of His coming to earth, and He was prepared for it. Still, as He took upon himself the weight of all the sins of all humanity for all time, He would endure unimaginable grief and isolation. He did this willingly so that we would have the opportunity to escape spiritual death and eternal isolation from God.
RESPOND: How could Jesus closest disciples desert Him during His greatest time of hardship, especially after all they had been through with Him? What did Jesus mean when He asked, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me"? (See 26:39 note.) Was He trying to avoid the death that was central to His earthly mission? Why not? What kind of suffering and separation was He about to face? What can you learn from Jesus' example (v. 39, 42)? Why did Jesus say that it's important for His disciples to pray (v.41)? Why did Jesus not resist arrest when it was within His power to do so?
PRAY: Give thanks to Jesus for all that He willingly endured to provide you with eternal life. Pray that He would give you the strength to stand with Him, regardless of any grief and rejection you might face. Pray that, just like Jesus, you will be prepared to do God's will, whatever it may be.
ACT: Perhaps there is an aspect of life in which you've sensed God's will and desire for you, but you've hesitated to follow His direction. It could be something "big," like what He wants you to do for a career, or it could be "small," like helping a family member or befriending a classmate. Step out and trust God. Give yourself completely to His purpose, regardless of cost, and let God use you however He chooses.
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