“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
Yesterday we had a wonderful Holy Communion Service in the church. I read The Book of Luke Chapter 22 to refresh my memory concerning this holy event. The Lord told the disciples to prepare the place so that they will eat the Passover meal. They obeyed not knowing that this is the last time they will eat together. Jesus said that He really wanted to have fellowship with them ‘before I suffer’. Judas has already agreed to betray his Master for religious money. Jesus institutes what we now call ‘The Holy Communion’. He tells them to do it ‘in memory of Me’. I tried to imagine the place and the feelings of our Lord during this ‘good-bye-send-off’ meal. He knew that He will die soon. He also knew that His disciples do not yet understand the gravity of the moment. The atmosphere was tense. Jesus says: ‘I give you my Body… I give you My Blood…’
These are eternal heaven soaked anointed words. They define the perfect love free of all fears. These words should provoke men to worship Jesus! When a man gives you his life, the only acceptable response is to give your life back to him. By laying down His life for His friends, Jesus proves that He is Man and He is God. And God is love. But men do not understand the passion, the pain and the price of Love. The disciples started quarreling among themselves who is the least and who is the greatest among them. Can you imagine that? The Lord was talking about His kingdom, saying that they will seat with Him on thrones, that they will be Kings and Priests with Him. But the disciples quarrel about ordinary things… things that money can buy… earthly things…fading profits… It is like a King telling his son that he will one day be a king ruling from his throne… but the son goes to the servants’ quarters and quarrels with them about the next ‘contract’… who will supply bread to the royal home… How sad…
Here you see the great distance between the way the Spirit thinks and the flesh thinks. Jesus is clearly lonely during that last supper with His friends. Loneliness is a price to pay if you want to be like Jesus and especially if you want to be a pastor. But these lonely moments are holy pregnant with glory moments, when you draw closer to the Lord more than ever before. Nobody likes to be lonely. We all want a group of friends, admirers and followers to be around us. But there are times when God will isolate you from family and friends, so that you can experience His pain, understand His grace and see His glory.
These times of loneliness are times of temptation too. The devil will come and try to flatter you. In these last days I see that the devil has ‘fallen in love’ with the Church. Jesus warns Peter saying: “behold, Satan hath desired to have you” (Lk 22: 31; KJ). Satan wants to have you! To control your mind, emotions and will! This is his plan! Be careful, you who like to complain saying: ‘Nobody loves me… I am lonely…’ Satan, the Accuser, may supply ‘love’ to you… but the price for this fake love is your destiny and your soul. So I say: “Backslider, come back home! Run to Jesus! Run to the Cross! God loves you! Jesus loves you! The Holy Spirit loves you!’
The Lord says: “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” We recognize what Jesus sad done on the Cross two thousand years ago. We also acknowledge and honor His present ministry as our High Priest in heaven, the Author, Finisher and Sustainer of our faith. Your faith in God is supernatural! If not, you could have gone back to sin and to the world! Tell me the truth: how many times you got tired of Christianity and wanted to backslide. But you could not do it! Why? Because Jesus Christ is praying for you right now, that your faith should not fail and should not quench! Give Him glory! Now that your faith is established, now that you are strong in the faith, strengthen the weak Christians as they walk with Jesus!
As for me, this is my testimony, my story and my song: Jesus Christ is My Savior and My Lord!!! Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so! His love is enough for me!!! Because of Jesus Christ, I declare that I am a child of God and my faith in Him is unfailing! Thank You Lord for Your Blood, for Your Body and for Your Spirit! It is well with my soul… Glory!