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Happy Easter!

Author: Pastor Mitch Williams
April 09, 2020

Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, having just finished the most tormenting hours of His life. He had been prayerfully anguishing over the anticipated and horrific road leading to crucifixion. But He had also come to accept that this was the path the Father would have Him go. The cup would not be passed from Him. Jesus was at peace with what He must do.

Next, Jesus was approached by an angry mob, with swords and clubs, led by Judas Iscariot. His disciple promptly kisses him, not in friendship, but in betrayal, identifying Jesus as the one to be arrested. In response, another disciple named Peter reacts to defend Jesus and draws out his sword. He takes a perfect swing and severs the ear of Malchus, the servant of the Caiaphas, the high priest.

Jesus is not pleased. He tells Peter to put away his sword, and then adds, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” Jesus continues, “I could defend myself if I wanted. I could ask for 72,000 angels to come and rescue me. But I am at peace to stay in the will of my Father and not to take matters into my own hands.” Jesus then heals the ear of Malchus.

This story leading up to the crucifixion and ultimately to the resurrection, reminds us of a crucial truth. I am not to take matters into my own hands. I, like Jesus, am to surrender my will to God each and every day. To consecrate my day and plans and give them to the Lord. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, Lord what is your will and purpose for my life today? It was His daily prayer. It is to be ours as well. What should be my priorities today? The projects, emails, phone calls, meetings, tasks, the family care . . . and the list goes on, how ought that to happen today? Order my day Lord according to your will.

But how often when the day ensues, and I become busy, and ultimately surrounded by an angry, threatening mob, or pandemic, that I take out my sword and try to protect myself? You said, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” In other words, those who live by being in control, die by being in control. But the Lord Jesus has proven, time and again, He is to be trusted to handle every problem, and pandemic, and even how we ought to order our every day. That is my prayer for you and me.

As we celebrate Easter this weekend, may we be reminded of the one who gave His will and His life, and then three days later rose again, so that we can someday very soon spend it together for all eternity. Happy Easter!