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INSPIRATIONAL Blog

Weekly inspirations from Aurora Colony Vineyard's owner, John Moore.
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John Moore
 
September 20, 2022 | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – Desertions and Betrayals

We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples. In this final week, Jesus predicts his death by crucifixion in two days. This is followed by the details of the sham trial to be conducted by the religious leaders to trap and murder Jesus. Now Jesus makes two shocking predictions – the one who will betray Him, and the one who will deny knowing him! If ever a spiritual movement looked destined for failure, it would be this last week of Jesus – the leader killed, the followings betraying Him or denying him as they scatter. Three shock waves in this final week. Now the cross is in full view and we see Jesus in preparation for his death and the final desertions and betrayals.

60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward

61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”

63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him

68 and said, “Prophecy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.

70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”

73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”

74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.

75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.  Matthew 26:60-75.

1. Colossal Life Failures.  Nothing really compares to these denials by Peter coupled with the wholesale desertion of Jesus by ALL of the disciples.  Incredible.  Three years of 24/7 training, teaching, loving, warning, demonstrations of work only done by god, affirmations of the heavenly Father, fulfillment of prophecies, miracles, raising the dead.  Incredible. 

2. Results of Failure.  Simply, Pete was crushed.  He wept bitterly.  If ever you think one would not recover from personal failure, it would be Peter.

3. Life after Failure.  But not so with the grace and forgiveness of God.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31-32.

Yet in one of the most powerful expressions of grace, redemptions and recovery, Jesus affirms that Peter and God had unfinished business. This is incredible.  What have you done that you believe is not now forgivable?  There are consequences, but forgiveness and grace are always there.  This is so powerful we will spend next week on it also.  Stay well.

Time Posted: Sep 20, 2022 at 10:45 AM Permalink to The Week of the Cross – Desertions and Betrayals Permalink
John Moore
 
September 12, 2022 | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – the Sham Trial and Conviction and Death Sentence (Part Six)


“Christ before Pilate” by Mihály Munkácsy, 1881 from Wikipedia

We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples. In this final week, Jesus predicts his death by crucifixion in two days. This is followed by the details of the sham trial to be conducted by the religious leaders to trap and murder Jesus. Now Jesus makes two shocking predictions – the one who will betray Him, and the one who will deny knowing him! If ever a spiritual movement looked destined for failure, it would be this last week of Jesus – the leader killed, the followings betraying Him or denying him as they scatter. Three shock waves in this final week. Now the cross is in full view and we see Jesus in preparation for his death.

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.  The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[a]  65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”  “He is worthy of death,” they answered.  67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you? Matthew 26:62-29.

1. False Charges, Phony Witnesses, Perjured Testimony. Everything about this trial was wrong. It was not legal nor religious by any Roman or Jewish standard. Accusations went unchallenged. Jesus remains silent until His authority and relationship to the Father was challenged. Jesus knew this trial was ‘going the way it was predicted and was written’ and the greater redemptive purpose was hours away.

2. Prediction of Future Vindication. Everything about the Kingdom of heaven and Jesus’ standing with the Father was heavenly, not earthly. There would be a time of verification.  The Son of Man sitting at the hand of God and coming in the clouds. Remember His words?  He could have the Father call down 72,000 angelic warriors.  But this was not time or place.  The heavenly scenes were coming in the future.

3. Condemnation and Assault and Battery. Nothing about this ‘trial’ justified He is worthy of death. He has blasphemed. Being spit on and struck. But as the Scriptures, He was a lamb being led to the slaughter, and was submitted to the will of God and the heavenly hosts.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:7-9.

Yet in this crucible of suffering and testing, the betrayal of Jesus by his disciples was not complete.  Peter’s failure next, and what we can learn from it.  Stay well.

Time Posted: Sep 12, 2022 at 2:35 PM Permalink to The Week of the Cross – the Sham Trial and Conviction and Death Sentence (Part Six) Permalink
John Moore
 
September 5, 2022 | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – Jesus’ Preparation for Suffering – A Kingdom from Heaven and not from Earth (Part Five)

We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples. In this final week, Jesus predicts his death by crucifixion in two days. This is followed by the details of the sham trial to be conducted by the religious leaders to trap and murder Jesus. Now Jesus makes two shocking predictions – the one who will betray Him, and the one who will deny knowing him! If ever a spiritual movement looked destined for failure, it would be this last week of Jesus – the leader killed, the followings betraying Him or denying him as they scatter. Three shock waves in this final week. Now the cross is in full view and we see Jesus in preparation for his death.

55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.  Matthew 25:55-56.

1. Betrayal and Raising the Sword. Everything nailed down seems to be coming loose in these final hours. Judas comes, and with a kiss, betrays Jesus. Friend, do what you came for. Amazing the grace of Jesus to this betrayal, all the while in extreme distress about the prospect of the cross. Now Peter raises a sword to defend Jesus. And Jesus rebukes Peter and the disciples for thinking the power in this world is a measure of heaven.

2. 72,000 Angelic Warriors! By contrast, Jesus assures his followers that His heavenly Father could send legions – thousands, an innumerable number – of angelic warriors to assist him if needed. But the cross was necessary for God’s redemptive purpose through Jesus to be completed, for the Scriptures of the OT as to the Lamb of God, to be fulfilled. 

“Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty.“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,  and I will turn my hand against the little ones. 8 In the whole land,” declares the Lord,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;  yet one-third will be left in it.9 This third I will put into the fire; 
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.  They will call on my name and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’  and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech 13:7-9.

3. Yet Fear and Desertion was the Result. Despite all the teaching of Jesus about the suffering and persecutions which were to come, all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt 5:10-12.

At this hour the success of God through Jesus seems in shambles. Fear, failure, denial, desertion. But from a heavenly observation, everything in time and eternity is posed for redemptive success in the next hours – the death of Jesus, the taking of the sins of the world on Him, the culmination of the salvation promises, the defeat of Satan, the proclamation in hell that death is defeated, and the verification through the resurrection. Treat this week like your Easter week with thanks to God for His great work on our behalf. Next, the sham trial, all to fulfill the purposes of God.

Time Posted: Sep 5, 2022 at 2:31 PM Permalink to The Week of the Cross – Jesus’ Preparation for Suffering – A Kingdom from Heaven and not from Earth  (Part Five) Permalink