How Many Times?

Read: Luke 22:39-71

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“If you’re telling yourself you don’t deserve a second chance from God, remind yourself you didn’t deserve the first one, either.”

Louie Giglio

The cross’ shadow pours over Jesus’ back as He prays in the garden.

Here, on the Mount of Olives, we see Jesus’ humanity on display with heartbreaking validity. He kneels away from disciples and cries out to God:

  Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done,” (Luke 22:42). Luke tells us that an angel from heaven appears to Jesus and offers Him strength and encouragement. But because He was in so much anguish, He prayed all the more, even to the point that sweat cascaded from His body onto the ground like drops of blood. A dark foreboding of what was sure to come.

He rose from the place He was praying and returned to His disciples to find them asleep. How many times have we fallen asleep on our Savior? How many times have we turned our back on Him? How many times have we failed to serve Him in return for all He has done for us?

A commotion is heart coming up the edge of the hill. Suddenly torches twinkle in the distance and the sound of voices runs off the silence. One man leads the pack. A friend. A follower. A betrayer.

Judas approached Jesus and kisses Him on the cheek, sealing His fate. Jesus spoke to Judas, His eyes are soft and His voice is low, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?

How many times have we kissed our Savior, and yet betrayed Him? How many times have we praised Him with our words but failed Him with our actions? How many times have we told Him we loved Him yet failed to love our neighbor?

Later on, Peter sits by the fire. Colors of orange and yellow splash across his face. A woman passes by and points to Peter, “This man was with him,” she spits. Peter denies Christ. And again. And again. A rooster crows.

How many times have we denied the Christ? How many times has our faith faltered and our wants taken the forefront? How many times have we worried what people would think or say, so we laid down Jesus and picked up a mask? How many times have we failed to make our faith in Him known?

While His strongest disciple denies Him outside, Jesus is being beaten and mocked. His body aches and swells. “Prophesy!” they shout at Him. Another punch. Another kick. “Who hit you?” they ask. Another slap. Another jab. 

How many times have we hurt a brother or sister and therefore hurt Jesus? How many times have we denied the naked man clothes or the hungry man food and therefore left Jesus starving and naked? How many times have our actions and our words placed mockery on who we represent and bruises on His flesh?

Finally, the sun peaks over the clouds and the beating comes to a close. Jesus is thrust into the presence of the council of chief priests and teachers of the law. “If you are the Messiah, tell us” they prompt Him.

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

How many times do we take Jesus at His word? How many times do we truly believe that He is ruler over our heart and life? How many times do we really believe that He sits at the right hand of God? How many times do we believe that He saved us?

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