Second Sunday in Lent – Saturday
Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd and against the Man that is My Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.
Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn Mine hand upon the little ones. Zechariah 13:7.
When they had sung a hymn, Jesus and His disciples went out to the Mount of Olives. It was about midnight.
And the Lord said: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). Peter answered: “Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death” (v. 33). And Jesus said unto all: “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.’ But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee” (Matthew 26:31-32). Peter answered: “Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended” (v. 33). Jesus said to him: “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice” (v. 34). And Peter still said: “Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee” (v. 35a). Likewise also said all the disciples (v. 35b).
On approaching their destination, the Lord said: “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” (Luke 22:35a). And they said: “Nothing” (v. 35b). Then Jesus said unto them: “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors, for the things concerning Me have an end’” (vv. 36-37). They were to prepare spiritually for great trouble. But they put an altogether carnal interpretation upon this and said: “Lord, behold, here are two swords” (v. 38a). Jesus did not wish to instruct them on this point any further, and so He said: “It is enough” (v. 38b).
The disciples now faced the greatest temptation. And, poor men, they boasted of their strength, Peter especially. Thus they fell, Peter especially. And temptations will approach you too, O Christian. In no way depend upon yourself! Rely solely upon Jesus and on His Word, in which He promises to keep you, and through which He gives you of His rich grace and mercy.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, I rely on Thee, O faithful Shepherd! Of myself I can do nothing. But, by Thy grace, I will fight the good fight of faith. But, unless Thou provide strength and victory, I am lost. Assist me in all temptation! And if I fall by reason of my conceited flesh, work true repentance in my heart and restore saving faith in the Gospel. Comfort me again and again, daily raise me up to serve Thee, and keep me in Thy strong, loving, saving arms. Amen.
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that harm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.”
Hymn 175, vv. 1-2. (TLH)