Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 46

Thursday: The Last Supper

by

Today's Text: John 16:16-24, John 16:32-33, Mark 14:12-72, Psalm 41:7-13, Zechariah 13:7

Scripture Reading: John 16:16-24, John 16:32-33, Mark 14:12-72, Psalm 41:7-13, Zechariah 13:7

Of all the betrayals of Jesus, Peter’s is the hardest for me to stomach. Peter, the one who was first to claim Jesus as the Messiah. Peter, who got out of the boat to walk on water to meet his Savior. Then, after all they had been through, it is Peter who denies he ever knew Christ. One minute Christ is his Messiah, and the next? Someone he didn’t want to be associated with.

I’ll never forget the deep shame I felt when I did something similar to a friend in college. To her face, I acted as if she were my best friend. But behind her back, I said something to the contrary. She heard about it. I heard that she heard about it. And then I was sick.

This is why Peter’s story is so difficult for me to stomach. I see a lot of myself in it. Not only in the way I’ve denied friends, but the times I’ve denied Christ too. Proclaiming Him as my Savior one minute, acting as if I don’t even know Him the next. Peter denied Christ three times, but I’ve denied Him countless times.

Jesus was not surprised—not by Peter’s denial, nor by mine. In fact, He predicted it during the Last Supper. Quoting the prophet Zechariah, He said, “All of you will run away, because it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee” (Mark 14:27-28).

After He says this, who pipes up first? Peter, that’s who, declaring, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!” (v. 29). But just a few verses later, Peter is shocked at his own hypocrisy. “And he broke down and wept” (v. 72).

Jesus also predicted Peter’s behavior, as well as Peter’s response to that behavior, when He said, “You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy” (John 16:20). How? How could Peter’s weeping ever turn to joy? Even though he would see the risen Christ, wouldn’t that only bring him further shame?

Perhaps Peter experienced what I experienced with my friend in college. I dreaded facing her again. When I did, eyes to the floor, I apologized. She had all the power in that moment. She could have hurt me right back or told everyone how two-faced I was. But she didn’t. Instead, she looked at me and said, “It’s water under the bridge.” She forgave me. I will never forget that moment of undeserved mercy.

Undeserved mercy is what Peter received from Jesus. At the end of Mark, when the angel tells Mary Magdalene the good news of the resurrection, the angel also says, “Go, tell the disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you’” (Mark 16:7). The disciples and Peter. Jesus calls him by name. Peter is still invited to meet the risen Christ.

In our times of sorrow, in the depths of sin, when facing the reality of our own hypocrisy, when joy feels absurd, reserved for someone who is “better” than we are—this is the story we ought to remember. We can have joy, not because of who we are or what we have done, but because we are still invited to meet the risen Christ.

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  • Kerry Terry

    I am sorry. I am ashamed. I am grateful. I have hope.

  • Peony Noirr

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Lilly Dyer

    As l was reading John 16:20 really hit home with me. It reminds me of the song we sing in church, “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning”. l changed “morning” to “mourning” and it all kind of began to click with me. Through our mourning of Jesus’ death and sacrifice we can be joyful knowing that our sins have been wiped clean, and we have been given the beautiful gift of life through Him! How beautiful that our mourning can be turned into joy!

  • Marissa Burleson

    This opened up my eyes to how much I deny God in ways that I didn’t even know I was, and yet He still calls me by name. Still calls me His. Thankful for His mercies that are new each morning, not just if I did everything I was suppose to, but each morning.

  • Mary Abel

    Yesterday (Thursday) I attended the funeral of a lifetime friend. He was instrumental in helping me build my foundation in faith. Each time I saw him their was a warm greeting and the conversation quickly turned to Christ and his work in our lives. Whether it be through the valleys or on the mountaintops it was about Him! I will miss my friend, but I know he rejoices in heaven with his Saviour! I find it an extra blessing that his funeral, a testimony of the resurrection was on the day it was! I am forever grateful for his impact on my life and for what Jesus did for us to secure our heavenly home!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Mary, we’re so sorry to hear this. We’re praying for you during this time and are so grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Carissa Burns

    reading this blessed me!! thanks so much for sharing!
    Zeph. 3:17

  • Kerry Terry

    I am so grateful. Grateful for the grace and new mercies every day. May I be more like Jesus daily.

  • Deborah Craytor

    I just read this about Peter’s actions in Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Hosea: “[W]hen Peter denied his Lord three times, that sin didn’t suddenly
    appear; it was the result of gradual spiritual deterioration. The denial began with
    Peter’s pride, when he told the Lord he would never forsake Him and would even
    die for Him. The next stage was sleeping when he should have been praying, and
    then fighting when he should have put away his sword. Peter should have left the
    scene (“I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered
    abroad” [Matt. 26:31; Zech. 13:7]); but instead, he followed to see what would hap-
    pen and walked right into temptation.”

    That’s an interesting way to look at it, isn’t it? I would have thought that Peter’s statement that he would not forsake Jesus, and would even die for Him, was a good thing, not evidence of sinful pride.

    • Julie

      This is interesting seeing it broken down this way. It is something that could easily be missed. Thank you for sharing. Which Warren Wiersbe’s commentary do you have?

  • Miranda Rector

    I just love how even in the darkest of times, Jesus is so merciful and forgiving! I know that I have felt like Peter so many times, so sure of myself but when the moment comes I am weak and I give in to doubt, shame, pressure to fit in, not be judged, avoid failure and judgment, etc. This is a reminder that Jesus knows are weakness before even we do and he is prepared to forgive us in even our lowest points when we admit that we need Him.

  • Ladies I would so greatly appreciate prayers tonight.

  • Kate Wells

    Oh wow! It’s amazing to read this with the context provided and see details that I’ve missed and glossed over so many times. And he called Peter by name! I was just reading “beautiful outlaw” by John Eldridge and he mentions the relationship and mercy between Jesus and Peter. When he appears while they are fishing and Peter recognizes him for the first time he is so overjoyed to see him that he jumps off the boat clothed and swims 100 or so yards to the shore. I’m sure to greet him with a big wet hug. The love and mercy of Christ is simply beautiful and his ability to accept his disciples (and us) just as we are is an absolute inspiration. Thank you Jesus for calling us all by name!

  • another great study. I feel like this can hit home for most but the shame we feel can be overcome by his Grace. His undeserved love!

  • WOW this was a powerful message and written with such transparency and chilling truth.

  • Lois Wilson

    Undeserved mercy. Thank you Abba Father! ❤️

  • Kari Glemaker

    I loved this “We can have joy, not because of who we are or what we have done, but because we are still invited to meet the risen Christ.” WOW

  • Oh man, this got me good. The disciples AND Peter. How amazing that our Lord still sees us in our mess and in our shame. That He still loves us and calls us by name.

  • One last thing and I feel I need to say this. It’s only because of God’s people that my daughter and I are able to take this trip. In a not shell. My car had major car repair in December. God provided for that. A couple weeks ago I got brand new tires on my car. God provided for that as well with a little extra so that my daughter and I can take this trip. A Coworker of mine has annual passes to the aquarium where we are going and she let me borrow them. We don’t have to pay for it. For my birthday which was on Monday my sister gave me a generous gift card to Starbucks. Last night that sisters came over and hands me a generous amount of cash that my sister in Florida sent to her so that I can take this trip. And just before bed my other sister sent me a gift card via text for Starbucks so that my daughter and I can have breakfast before heading out. God is good! I don’t have to worry about breakfast or snacks or coffees LOL. God is taking care of me and my kids!

  • It’s amazing to see Peter’s transformation in the New Testament. Before Jesus was crucified, Peter was a coward, denying Jesus just hours after promising to die with him. In Acts 4, this same Peter says (along with John) after being confronted by the elders and demanded to speak of Jesus no more, that he “cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). His courage comes from the filling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). I find encouragement in Peter’s courage because I know that even though in my flesh, I may be weak and burdened by my lack of faithfulness at times, I can rely on the Holy Spirit to transform my heart and grant me the courage to conquer my weaknesses.

  • Undeserved mercy. When I turned from Jesus, when I forget His promises. He still went to the cross, He still longer for me to know Him and have a relationship with Him. I am still invited to meet the risen Christ. Despite my shame, past, fears, and insecurities. He thought of me as he carried the cross to Golgatha, and He said, “Even if Sarah turns away, I will still die for her. I will still tear the veil. I will still pour out myself for her. Once and for all.” Thank you Lord. I don’t deserve it, but still you give yourself away. You make me whole. You make me new. You restore this broken heart. Thank you Lord. Help me live my life believing and radiating this scandalous truth.

  • One more thing. Sisters could you please pray for me and my daughter. We are going on an overnight trip. I have never done this ever! We are going to the beach. It’s a 2 1/2 hour drive. Please pray for our safety. That my car will be OK. And most of all that we just enjoy one another just the two of us.

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re praying for safe travels and a great trip for you and your daughter Mari! Thank you for sharing. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Sometimes denial to me may look like those times when I should tell that person about Christ. How many times have I seen that lonely person and yet I hold back. I don’t know what to say. Then I regret not saying anything at all. I pray that the Lord will help me when that opportunity arises to be bold and tell them about the love of Christ. I am so grateful to my God and how far He’s brought me. I give HIM the glory!

  • I really needed this today. I just recently had a situation where I was asking God to take me a different way, I didn’t want to go the way He wanted me to go. There was still hurt and pain there and I wasn’t ready to walk it. And I felt so bad for trusting Him and believing Him but not following Him. Denying Him, ignoring Him. And I have felt such shame about it. Although He has pressed on my heart that it’s okay, He forgives, and we will go another way – the enemy has fought me with shame. I really needed to read this, this morning. Jesus was not surprised by Peter and yet still gave Him undeserved mercy. He was not surprised by his actions and still invites him back to Him. I can have joy not in my own works but in Jesus and the fact that He still invites me back, no matter what, He forgives and is waiting for me to run back to Him. Thank you Lord!

  • Pam White

    So good! Not only are we forgiven, but what a convicting example of how we should be ready and willing to forgive others when they betray us!

  • Taylor Landers

    I love seeing these “small stories” that are so important to the bigger picture of salvation and this Holy Week!

  • Gwendolyn Wheat

    No matter how often I seem to do make the same mistakes over and over again, I know Jesus is there showing mercy. What a great reminder.

  • Stacey Harper

    I needed to hear that I can still have joy regardless of who I am or what I’ve done! I can have joy because of the Cross!! I needed that today, thank you!!

  • Karen Trigg

    So grateful for these readings this week. You all bring the living Word to light for us in such a beautiful way. Thank you!

  • I’ve never read the sentence after Peter insists that he will never deny Jesus, “And they all said the same thing.” I’ve always read this passage about Peter, imagining how hard it must have been for him to walk out that prophecy, but how sweet when he was restored with Christ. But like a punch in the gut as I saw one more sentence I realized I say – then do – the same thing. This isn’t a story about someone else, rather for me it’s pulling back the curtain about myself. And then I run out of words because I don’t know what to do but take it to the Father and grieve.

  • I think a lot of Judas on this day. I’ve wondered how a man that could know Jesus so personally could let his feet be washed, let his soul be fed, let his stomach partake of what our Savior had to give AND still walk out on him. How he could choose silver over love. I think about how the enemy used him in all of this and I’ve realized it wasn’t a quick change. Judas’ betrayal didn’t go from trusted companion to wretched deceiver overnight. This was a man that walked with Jesus daily, experiencing life and miracles with him. And while these experiences and miracles would move the other disciples to more belief in Christ, I believe with Judas they moved him in a way that slowly pulled him from a love and worship of Christ to a deeper love and worship of money to the point he could no longer serve Jesus because his love of money overtook his heart with greed. I think to John 12:6 where we are reminded that Jesus had put Judas in charge of his finances; a thief responsible for their money AND he had been known to take from it, but Jesus didn’t stop him. So slowly, as time passed with each skim from the top of their funds, Judas’ heart was hardening through his love of money and thus proving scripture in Matthew about where his heart was and who he was really serving because it wasn’t God. Judas became the epitome of the scripture from Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”. And like us, I’m certain he didn’t intend any gifting he had with money to turn his heart but like any slow fade to bad habit, you find yourself fully immersed in raw choices and are left with someone you no longer recognize and in that realization my heart aches. I know that we are all susceptible to this kind of sin, to the kind of sin that isn’t obvious; the occasional sip of wine that slowly becomes a desperate need, the spontaneous dishonesty that becomes a lie that dictates a circumstance, the simple flirtation that awakens an emotion and gives rise to a lack of faithfulness in marriage, the reliance on money that swiftly morphs into control … we are all at risk of a slow fade, whatever it may be, Judas was no different. The enemy used his weakness to try to defeat Christ and that hurts to think about. I ache for Judas because he was just a man and the weight of the burden afterwards must have been so great for him, so great that he could no longer live.

    And Peter, I don’t find it a surprise that his words were what was used to point out his betrayal. Peter was known for his ability to speak eloquently, as I once read and have never forgotten, “His ability to wield words like a blunt object” and so I think to our greatest gifts and how they can also be our biggest curse, whatever they may be and so as I walk in Holy Thursday, I am prayerful that I remember I am just a woman, that my human side is fallible but my hearts wants so much more. Prayerful that I use my giftings with wisdom and that I guard myself against the enemy and any time I may be tempted into a slow fade of sin, that God graciously slows me down and that SEE, that I fully accept His lavishing of love upon me and surrender myself to His grace.

    • Kara

      So beautiful B! My mother talked about “giving Satan a foothold.” Not yet a sin, but could become a sin if we don’t guard our hearts. Much like the sow fad sin idea. My prayer is that I’ll walk so closely with Him that those footholds become obvious and thus easier to avoid temptation.

    • Nancy

      So beautifully written, and right on, sister. We are all at risk for that “slow fade.” Holy Spirit help us, bring conviction where necessary and a deep, all consuming love for the One who gave it all…

  • Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Our pastor pointed out that Peter is the only one that followed Him the other disciples scattered. Do we follow at a distance and deny Jesus by our actions? Do we try to have a personal relationship with Him?

  • I cant grasp the Satan betrayed Jesus. It breaks my heat. It saddens me that Peter denied him. But truly this is how we are today. Every day I let him down. And just like Peter I feel like I have been kicked in the gut. What amazes me and takes my breath away is the Jesus is still right there with me. I have had people to turn on me for no reason and Christ never has. Even though he has had plenty of reasons. I am so not worthy of his love. But so blessed that he does love me so.

  • Kaitlyn Reed

    He called him by name…. wow. I can’t imagine being in Peter’s shoes for those few dark days after denying Christ. I know when I do something bad I always feel guilty and like God has other “better” people to be spending time with or to bless. I don’t feel connected to God. I’m sure that’s how Peter felt, but God called Him by name to come see, to be reconciled. How beautiful!

  • I’ve never verbally denied Christ, but I’ve denied Him over and over by saying nothing when I should speak. I’ve denied Him by doing things I know I shouldn’t do – saying things I shouldn’t say – gone along with the crowd because it’s easier. I am so thankful for the undeserved mercies I receive more times than I can count. I am so thankful that, just like Peter, He calls me by name and invites me back to the table. I pray that today I may walk in that mercy and grace.

  • Churchmouse

    Everything is gaining speed. The traditional Passover meal begins, slowly, contemplatively. But then time seems to move rapidly. Indeed, time is running out for Jesus’ physical days on earth. There’s a lot of different players and the scenes change quickly. I want to shout “Stop! Do you know what is happening? What is about to happen?” But of course they can’t know fully – they do not live on this side of the Cross as I do. I have the fuller knowledge but I am no less culpable. I am every bit as guilty as they are. Perhaps more guilty. Oh but His forgiveness is greater still. Thank you, Andrea, for this beautiful reminder to slow down and fully comprehend how much He loves. I am never so far gone that His love won’t reach out to me. His arms are stretched out wide to take me in His embrace. No matter how many times I am the betrayer, His love still waits. It’s Thursday and grateful tears are falling.

  • Rebecca Leek

    So so good. Such a great devotional, thank you, Ms Lucado. Peter’s betrayal is indeed hard to stomach because we can all see ourselves in him. It’s a great example of God’s forgiveness and grace for us all, such a good point. It’s heart wrenching to read about Jesus’ death, and the events leading up to it.

  • This is amazing. “In the depths of our sin … when joy feels absurd, reserved for someone better- this is the story we ought to remember”. I’ve never thought about it that way.

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