Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 April 2023 Matthew 26:38.

Matthew 26:38. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry (wait) ye here, and watch with me.

Chuh! Man! Another Monday…another week of work! Why me eh? (smile) And this one will be a rough one because following the joyful festivities of Palm Sunday, it’s Holy Week, and all sorts of unsavoury things are happening in the Christian’s calendar, ending up with the crucifixion of Christ on Friday. We call it Good Friday, but it wasn’t good when it happened. It only turned out good when Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, having won a magnificent victory over hell, death and the grave! 

So, after the fear, the sadness and sorrow of Friday and Saturday, by Sunday evening everyone had gotten their jollies back with the awesome news of Christ’s resurrection making the rounds, just like His birth and death had done! (smile) Now, that resurrection was a most marvellous occasion which we all welcomed, but I guess like Job said, you have to take the bad with good. (Job 2:10) You can’t always expect good and no bad, even though you’re a believer in Christ, because the rain falls and the sun shines both on the good and bad. (Matt. 5:45) 

And as we said yesterday, this Holy Week we’ve got stir up our faith, stand strong and steadfast and follow Jesus to the cross on Good Friday, where He endured ‘sufferation,’ that’s inhumane suffering over and above, with nary a word of complaint. Yes my fellow brethren, our Lord and Saviour, bled, shed His sinless blood and died on that rugged cross to pay for our abominable sins, because our heavenly Father desired it, and that was the only way it could be done justly and righteously. 

Remember, the night before His crucifixion, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed for a reprieve, but first said to Peter, James and John, who were with Him. ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry (wait) ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father. If it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:38-39) Oh friends, Jesus’ heart was indeed heavy, as He prayed the same thing three times, with no reprieve from the Father. 

Deep down, He knew that He had to take His lumps, and He wasn’t so much afraid of the horrifying death, but more so about His first ever separation from the Father. He knew that once the burden of the world’s sins was placed on His sinless shoulders, the Father would shut Him out since He could not look on the totality of sin. 

As the scholars offer: ‘The prayer for the cup to pass is not due to Jesus’ fear of death. Jesus questions the will of the Father as to the necessity of drinking the cup. While this may refer to death (he tasted death) it is more likely that the cup represents the wrath of God against sin, the divine wrath Christ would incur on the cross as man’s sin-bearer. In the awful anguish of that moment, the sin of the world was poured on Christ, and He became “sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21). Thus, the Righteous One dies a substitutionary death for guilty mankind.’ 

And that was indeed a mighty step, calling for much selflessness and obedience on Jesus’ part. No wonder Bruh Paul wrote these telling words to the church at Philippi. ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (emptied himself of all his privileges): And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Eph. 2:5-8) 

O, what a marvellous example of a son, our Jesus was! Denying Himself His rightful godly privileges and becoming a mortal man, so that He could do the Father’s bidding. Now none of us can ever reach the level that He reached, but we can all strive to be much better than we presently are. If not for our sake, then at least for Jesus’ sake. Just look at all He suffered on our behalf. Can we not put out the effort to be better disciples, better followers, better ambassadors and agents, with our salt salty as ever, and our lights shining all over the world, as He desires? 

Is that too much to ask friends? I don’t think so. Not after what Jesus went through on our behalf. Doing what He asks is a piece of cake compared to what He went through for us. So please, this Holy Week, let’s step up to the plate and hit some home runs for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ nuh. He rightly deserves our improved play. Now, let’s go to God, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for the wherewithal to improve our level of play. (smile) 

Altogether: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And we’ll close with this li’l gem of scripture from Bruh Paul’s missive to those same Philippians, which ought to encourage us to get moving for Christ. Bruh Paul writes: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Yes my fellow saints, once the Lord begins working to remake us into the image of His wonderful Son, He’ll never stop until Jesus returns. So, let’s believe that and keep moving onwards and upwards in Christ, and thus fulfill our godly destiny. Much LOVE!

…we know all what we need to do to live for Jesus…so let’s cut out the foolishness and do it nuh… 

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