Sunday, August 1, 2021

Matthew 27 Devotions by Stephen Taylor

Matthew 27:1

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.

Mark 1:35- Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.

We see a sharp contrast between Jesus and the people of this world. Jesus got up early to pray, but these people were up early to plot! What you turn to, seek out, or run to first thing in the morning can expose your heart and the motives within. Jesus ran to His Father in prayer first thing in the morning, which shows His love and desperate need/want to be near and with Him. But on the flip side, these men had a desperate need to gratify their flesh and their own sinful desires by killing the Son of God, and so they met early on to make sure it was carried out. Jesus’s day was then filled with His Father, but these men’s day was then filled with evil.

Where we go first matters; it can set the tone for our whole day. If we run to God first, we are more likely to be focused upon Him throughout our day. But if we run to the world and our flesh first, then we are more likely to be focused upon it. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that we neglect our responsibilities to spend time with God and expect that to be pleasing to Him. But what I am saying is what’s stopping us from getting up a little earlier just to spend time with Him? If we want to see things change in our lives, then we have to start changing Who our lives belong to and revolve around. He is worthy of a little less sleep so that we can spend more time with Him!

One last thing: in the verse in Mark, it doesn’t say how long Jesus spent praying but only that He went there early and spent time with His Father. So don’t worry about how long – just get there with Him!

James 4:8- Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Psalm 5:3- In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

God bless! I love you all, but His love always goes the extra mile! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!

 

Matthew 27:26

Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.

 

The Holy Spirit showed me a way to read this the other day that drove the point home, much like the nails were driven into our Savior on this day many years ago. Take out Barabbas’ name and insert your own:

 

“Then he released Stephen to them. But he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified.”

 

It fills my heart with such a range of emotions, and all I can say is thank you, King Jesus, and Praise the Lamb of God!!! I encourage and challenge you to do the same and read it out loud. Let yourself hear the reality of what was done for you so many years ago. This wasn’t a feel-good experience but rather a painful, shameful, criminal’s death given to our Perfect Savior and Lord! He took our place. He bore our shame. He made all our wrongs right by covering them with His blood!

 

We rejoice in what was done for us, but I also want us to remember how much it cost Him and how He did it for us! Our destiny was death. Our home should have been Hell, but because Christ conquered on the Cross, our sins have been forgiven! We are made righteous through His sacrifice. It’s not by anything we have done or could ever hope to attain but His humble surrender and bold bearing of our sins that set us free!

 

I will leave you with this picture the Holy Spirit just reminded me of: The Trinity is in Heaven, and Jesus is asking the Father, “Can I go now? Is it time? How about now? Can I make the way and bridge the gap yet?” Finally, God says it’s time, and Christ doesn’t hesitate but comes to earth with love in His heart and the goal of reconciling the lost to His Father in Heaven, and thankfully, I can say I’m one of those redeemed children of God! How about you?

 

John 19:30 - When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

 

God bless! I love you all, but He loves you more, and He proved it on the Cross! Glory, Honor, and Praise forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ the Perfect Lamb of God, and the Holy Spirit! 

 

 

Matthew 27:35,36

When they had crucified Him, they divided up His clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.

Oh how they must have thought they were doing a good job, watching over Him. Making sure that the falsely accused and wrongly condemned Jesus didn’t come down. They must have felt very empowered and maybe even had a sense of accomplishment seeing this through. But never forget that those men watching over Jesus did not keep Him on that cross; it was He Himself who chose to stay up there!

As I read these verses, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something. Though they seemingly were watching over Him, it was the Crucified Christ that was truly watching over them! As He hung on the cross, it was He who prayed for those who pierced Him and put Him there. In essence, He is watching over them when He prays that His Father would forgive them. How often we think we are in control only to find out later that we never were. How quickly we can take credit and exalt ourselves far beyond where we truly are. Yet the One who had every right to boast did not boast in Himself or His deeds but rather gave all the glory to God each and every time. How amazing our King is to allow such wretched men to become His family.

Let us never forget or take for granted that King Jesus watched over them in prayer that day, and He is still doing the same for us! He is seated at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. No one is closer to the Father than the Son, and if you belong to the Son, then the Son is speaking on your behalf! Jesus didn’t just go to the cross but saw it through to victory to the glory of God and the freedom of many! Will you walk in His very expensive yet free gift today? Thank You, Jesus, for saving a wretch like me!

Luke 23:33,34- When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.

God bless! I love you all, but His love endured the cross and set us free! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!

 

 

 

 

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