Google+ 04/17/14 Lead on O King Eternal!

Mark 14:31-33

 

“No!” Peter declared emphatically.

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!”

And all the others vowed the same.

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said,

“Sit here while I go and pray.”

He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.

 

It had been a long night for Jesus.  In conjunction with their celebration of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Jesus had shared with the disciples that He would soon be gone from their midst.  At dinner, He told them that one amongst them would betray Him.  The disciples were stunned.  How could any one of the twelve turn on the Master?  They each began to question Jesus.  Each spoke those now famous words, "Is It I?"  Jesus remained silent until He looked at Judas and encouraged him to do what he must.  Then as the meal closed, He told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed.  Today's Scripture tells us how Peter responded.  The problem is we all know what Peter did.  We also know that when Jesus led the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, they didn't pray or stay awake either.  So what was the problem?  Why was it so hard for the disciples to be loyal to Jesus in His greatest time of need?  I believe the answer was the same now as it was then.  We talk the talk, but are afraid to walk the walk.  Jesus was asking the disciples, and telling us, to stand strong in the beliefs we profess each day.  We tell people that Jesus is our Savior.  We proclaim that He is the Lord of our lives.  I believe that we think that, but when times get tough, we have trouble telling the world that we belong to Jesus.  After all, the world will attack us for our beliefs.  We will be associated with the principles that Jesus professed.  We must ultimately believe that we will suffer the same fate of our Lord and Savior.  Our church is very different.  The Bible is truly our guide book and we do "act out" what the Scripture says.  As a result, as the pastor of this church, I am "crucified" with Christ by the world each day.  There is a famous Christian song that ends this way, "I am Crucified with Christ, and so I Live."  Today as we are called to the Upper Room for dinner, summoned to the Garden to pray, and are recognized as being part of Jesus's entourage, let's not deny Him, even once.  Let's embrace our difference from the world in Christ and be loyal and righteously proud of it.   As we walk to the cross let's sing, "Lead on O King Eternal!"