As It Is Written – Matthew 26

The prophet Isaiah tells us that before Messiah comes to reign as king, He must first suffer as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.  These and other prophecies were the foundation of Jesus’ ministry, and He referred to them often.  They helped to carry Him through the time of trial as His crucifixion drew near.

1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him… Matthew 26:1,24 NKJV

When His hour had finally come, Jesus broke bread with His disciples as they celebrated their final Passover meal together.  Here He instituted the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, to always remember His loving sacrifice for us.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  Matthew 26:26-28 NKJV

Later that evening, when His disciples began to resist a large crowd that came to arrest Jesus, He restrained them from giving Him their protection.

53 …Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”  56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Matthew 26:53-54,56 NKJV

After this, Jesus was unfairly tried, and though innocent, was beaten and crucified to death on a cross.  He was buried in a rich man’s donated grave but was raised to life by the Father on the third day, having defeated the curse of death once and for all.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He was on His way to Galilee when He encountered two grieving disciples walking together on the road to Emmaus.  Their eyes were restrained, and they did not recognize Him as He began to walk alongside them. He asked them what was going on, and they explained that they were downcast because of everything that had happened to Jesus.  Despite hearing rumors that Jesus had risen from the dead, they were troubled and confused and feared that the whole kingdom of heaven movement had failed. 

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.  Luke 24:25-27 NKJV

When Jesus blessed and broke bread with them, their eyes were no longer restrained, and they recognized Him.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NKJV

The Holy Spirit burned within their hearts at Jesus’ words, and still burns in our hearts today when we open the Scriptures to feed and nourish our souls. May He speak through His word to burn brightly today!

Reflection

There is great spiritual power that comes from reading the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah.  Jesus Himself drew great strength from them as He walked the lonely road to the cross.  Yet there are still many unfulfilled prophecies about Jesus’ second coming, when He will return to rule and reign over the entire world from David’s throne in Jerusalem.  We have covered many of these in previous meditations and hope to cover many more in days to come.

Heavenly Father, may Your Biblical word, the words of Jesus and of the prophets burn in our hearts as we seek to learn about and follow after You.  Every good thing we have has come from Your generous hand.  Help us to know, love and obey You each step of the way.  Thank You for your gracious forgiveness, and for the gift of another day with You.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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