Scripture: Matthew 17: 22-27
Key verses: (22-23) “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill him, . . .”
Reflection: While they are gathered together, Jesus springs this bad news on them – he was going to be arrested and killed. I wonder went through the disciples minds. It says that they felt grief when he told them this, but did they understand? I think that the thought of his death was inconceivable to them, including the promise that after three days he would be raised from the dead. Denial can be a wonderful thing. It can keep us from facing the inevitable. We don’t want to think about how many years, months or days are left. Denial of death is all around us and it takes many shapes and forms.
The disciples would soon find out that they were not following a worldly king who promised power and position. Jesus was a different kind of king. He was the Messiah. He lived our life, died our death and was miraculously raised from the dead. Jesus healed the sick, gave hope to the broken-hearted, protected the weak and forgave the most heinous sin. He preached a message of hope that changed the lives of countless people. All these acts of compassion challenged worldly power and he knew he would be killed for it. He would end up paying the ultimate price. But, praise be to God the grave could not hold him and his message of love and justice continues.
Prayer: Eternal God, we give thanks for Jesus who called us to take up our cross and follow him. We confess it can be challenging to follow Jesus. Give us courage to stand up for what is right as we work to correct what is wrong in our community and world giving thanks for Jesus’ example. In His name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].