"never say never", especially when it comes to God's Word applying to you!
The time, the location, and the events of our Father's plan of salvation in sending His only begotten Son to this earth to die on the cross and become our Passover did not happen by chance. Our Father is not the author of confusion but rather of order and design and great purpose which is verified not only in His perfect Works of creation but in His perfect Word, even evidenced by the fact that each and every detail surrounding both Christ's teaching and healing ministry and how He would then "go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day" was preordained and declared of old in His Word through the Law and Prophets. Then too, while Jesus was alive in the flesh and walked with His disciples, He also taught them and showed them what would come to pass in order to prepare them beforehand concerning what was going to happen and why it must be so. One reason He prepares His disciples is because there is an unpleasant or seemingly negative side to God's plan which must be accepted and understood if one is to grow into a mature Christian.You might recall that Peter did not like hearing what the plan of God was concerning Christ's suffering and crucifixion.
It was even written in the Book of Jonah that He would rise again the third day.Matthew 16:21-22
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Based on the remarks in our opening paragraph concerning Christ's ministry, there can be no doubt that our Father used Peter as an ensample to teach us and to show unto His servants in these last days not only the certitude of that which is written but to give us encouragement to be on guard so as to not allow our personal thoughts and emotions, even our love, to interfere with our Father's will in this final hour. To that end and for our gain, Peter is about to go through one of the most humbling experiences a true servant of God could imagine. He will deny Jesus Christ... to fulfill that which was spoken of him for our benefit! One thing is for sure though! Following this experience he shall be greatly strengthened to know in his heart that the words Jesus Christ spoke (even the Word of God) are unalterably true and shall come to pass exactly as stated."Seeing" this also strengthens us to know the same concerning His Word so that we can take a stand in this final generation and not deny His name! Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
We now continue in our study of Matthew where Jesus has finished instituting the sacraments of the New Covenant, which are the bread and the wine, and he who would betray Him, i.e. Judas, has been identified. The disciples have just finished singing the Hallel Psalm and giving praise to Yahveh, and now Jesus lays this on them:
Did you catch the words "It is written"?Whenever we see them we should take the time to go to the place where "it is written" to gain more understanding of what we are being taught and therefore supposed to learn. Remember in our last study we quoted from Zech. 13:6 where it was declared it would be one of Christ's own who would betray Him.Matthew 26:31
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
We will see in our next study that when Judas came with the great multitude to identify Jesus with a kiss, the Lord even called him "Friend". How perfect is our Father's Word.Zech. 13:6-7
And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
It is from this same chapter in Zechariah that Christ quoted when He told His disciples "All ye shall be offended because of me this night". Again, why would they scatter? Because they didn't love Him? No! Because "IT WAS WRITTEN"!Matthew 26:50
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Of course the house of Israel was physically scattered and in these last days that same house has become spiritually scattered, all except for God's elect. But on that day when Jesus Christ was hung on that cross and crucified, there was not one of those twelve disciples present when He gave up His spirit. And make no mistake about it, for it is important to understanding Christ's prayer in the garden of Gethsemane later in our study,Jesus Christ WILLINGLY gave up His life and died on the cross! You see, He was the Son of God and no man could possibly take His life from Him.In fact, that is why we read that He "bowed His head" and gave up the ghost (spirit) instead of "He died and then His head bowed forward". Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
Here is your documentation that Christ willingly died for you and me:
Now notice what else Jesus told His disciples before Peter and the other disciples tell Him they will in no way fulfill that which was written of them in Zechariah. (Again, take great encouragement and be strengthened by this to know from this ensample that God's elect shall also fulfill that which is written of them in these last days... for He will see to it.)John 10:14-18
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
The disciples are so focused on themselves right now after hearing what Christ just told them in verse 31 concerning their offence and scattering that they did not pay attention to this and absorb it, else His appearance to them after His resurrection would have come as no surprise. Hey, He just told them He would be "risen" and where He would meet them! Again, stay focused on what the Word of God has to say and don't let your thoughts and emotions detract you from "hearing His voice" and following His commands!Matthew 26:32
But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Here we go again with Peter challenging the Word of God as if it applies to all others but NOT directly to himself. Take heed to this example and know that that which is written is very personal dear one... because it is written to all of us and you!Oh, and "never say never", especially when it comes to God's Word applying to you! Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Peter (and all the rest of us) is now going to learn a very valuable lesson concerning the words of Jesus Christ for He is going to make them VERY PERSONAL to him.
Can you feel a loving chastisement and a valuable life-lesson coming on? "Peter, my man! It's about time you learn that when I tell you a thing is going to come to pass, I not only mean it, I'm talking to you!" Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And so it shall come to pass exactly as Jesus said it would and you and I and all His disciples will hopefully empathize with Peter's experience and also take it very personally... the Word of God that is! You "see", our Father is in complete control and when He says a thing you can absolutely, positively, count on it! His Word always has come to pass exactly as it is written and it always shall!Now if you can come to the point that you KNOW in your heart that that is true and you know from studying His Word and "hearing His voice" what it is He has promised to His children, then you are comforted in a way that gives true peace of mind and serenity for you have truly entered into His rest.
Now remember that Peter has (1) already said in Mat. 16:22 that he's NOT going to let Christ be delivered up and crucified... according to the will of God. Then (2)he said in Mat. 26:33 that even though "it is written" that all men should be offended, he would NEVER be offended,and now (3) he is going to tell Jesus Christ in the next verse that he would die with Him before He would do what the Word of God just said he SHALL DO before the cock crows!
Uh oh, Peter's "I'm with you all the way Lord (except for what you say)", now has the rest of the disciples jumping on his oppositional bandwagon! The problem is, and the truth of the matter is, Peter has already denied the Word of God three times and he doesn't SEE IT! Do you? In other words, he has spoken contrary to the Word of God three times, which is actually to deny His authority. Peter said unto Him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
But bless his heart, Peter shall soon come to understand the reality of Christ's words and he will repent and abhor himself for what he has done. If you have eyes to see then you will know that the latter denials were brought to pass to bring to light the former, which were acts of disobedience!
It is a heart rending lesson for all of us who are touched by Peter's experience, a man who so passionately loved the Lord. Yet through it all Peter (and hopefully all of us) shall be strengthened and come to know the love of Christ in a much more personal way and have his (and our) faith greatly increased.Remember too, that it would be this same Peter (petros) whom Christ would use to build His church.Matthew 26:75
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
"Gethsemane" is actually an Aramaic word that means "oil press". How fitting a name for this location because we are soon going to see how the disciples hold up when the pressing takes place, i.e. the "pressure is on"!Matthew 26:36
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Do you have any idea who Jesus Christ would be sorrowful for at this point? Himself? Hardly! When have you EVER read that Jesus Christ was concerned for Himself or for His life? How many times did the scribes and Pharisees seek to take Him and could not "because it was not yet His time!"John 7:30 "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because His hour was not yet come."Gethsemane, gheth-say-man-ay', Greek 1068; of Chaldee origin [compare Hebrew 1660 (gath) and Hebrew 8081 (shemen)]; oil-press; Gethsemane, a garden near Jerusalem :- Gethsemane. And He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Then too, who was Christ thinking
of when He was even closer to death, even as He was walking up the hill
to Golgotha and the people and women who followed Him were weeping and
lamenting for Him?
You need to know the answer to this.
Jesus Christ was not concerned for Himself. He was concerned for the "sons and daughters" of this final generation who would stumble and fall in the great tribulation and have to suffer the consequences of their actions.Luke 23:27-30
And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him.
 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
Those who are "barren" are those who remain spiritual virgins unto the coming to the true bridegroom, unlike those who are deceived and jump in bed with the false messiah who comes first claiming to be their husband. What is going to happen to those who do not remain "barren", i.e. are impregnated with the lies and deceit of antichrist? They are going to miss out on the true wedding and shall be truly ashamed at their spiritual nakedness in knowing they have been adulterers and adulteresses when Christ returns. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Then, as we read in Matthew chapters 24 and 25, they shall be placed in the wine-press during the Millennium and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:51, 25:30). Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
It is too bad that it has to be this way, but it is our Father's plan and that is the way it is! Jesus Christ came and offered hope and salvation but He was betrayed and rejected of men and scourged and beaten and crucified.Woe unto them at His second coming. However, it does not give our Father pleasure to have to pour out the cup of His wrath upon His children for it is not His will "that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
In our next study, we shall learn what cup Christ desired could pass from Him and why! Don't miss it because the traditions of men have misled many to believe He was actually apprehensive about dying! NOTHING could be further from the truth and we will document it!
... to be continued.
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