Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
TITLE: His Great desire
By David Ritchie
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Jesus said, "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Luke 22 v 15/16 KJ. One does not have to be a great scholar to recognize the emotion and depth of feeling in those words. Apart from his incarnation when God became manifest in flesh, Jesus Christ was on the threshold of the battle against all the powers of darkness including Satan himself, and he expresses those emotive words, "With desire have I desired..."
This was a man (for he had left his Godhead aside) about to make the supreme sacrifice, but before that he would experience betrayal, abandonment by his own people including his closest friends. He would know for the first time separation from his heavenly father. His body would be beaten almost unrecognizable before he was handed over to be sport to a band of pitiless Roman soldiers who would mock the one who was nevertheless the King of Glory. Even as a man he would undoubtedly have known the full horrors of crucifixion being the object of terror used on lawbreakers in those days.
Yet when the net of evil was about to close around him, his great desire was to sit down with twelve men he had chosen who had followed him for the past three years. Men who he had to rebuke for various reasons, men who were later described as ignorant and unlearned men, who would desert him in his hour of need. Yet before he left them it was his desire to sit down with them at a Passover meal that looked back to an old covenant, and create a new covenant through his own death and shed blood. No longer would they have to look back to a broken law, this new covenant had a hope and a future culminating with his return at the end of the age.
It was at this meal he took a towel and washed their feet leaving an example for all those who would follow this Servant King. This was a turning point for the whole world when a broken law would be fulfilled and a new covenant established. From here on free access to Almighty God would be available to every person through the blood of Christ, to this point it was only through a priest and the blood of an animal.
Jesus had to face the cross, rejection and pain, but first at the very end of his life his great desire was to sit down with these men and ensure they had got the message right. What a supper that must have been, it was there the abandonment started among his close friends as Judas left and Peter was told, that he would deny his Lord before the cock crowed three times. These men would have to pass the message on for the supper that was instituted was to be carried on until he returns.
Thank God for the sacrifice he made in finishing that work and establishing a new covenant. Thank God that these men who had many of the same problems we have today were empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the message. Thank God we have been recipients of that message and have the privilege of sitting down at the same feast week by week to remember Christ's death and remind ourselves that he is coming again. At these times we too can experience the freshness of his presence as he makes himself known all over again in the breaking of bread.
It was his great desire to sit down with these men when he was here on earth, it is still his great desire to be made know to men and women today as they break the bread and drink the wine, remembering him afresh until he comes. As the days are darkening around us, and the tide of evil is rising at an alarming rate, the words of Revelation 22 v 20 are increasingly more relevant, "Even so Come Lord Jesus."
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