Jesus is betrayed by Judas, and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is then taken to the house of Annas, who sends Him on to the house of Caiaphas (the acting high priest), who has summoned the Jewish religious leaders for illegal night trial of Jesus...
As we pick up our study in the Gospel of Matthew.
It is the night before Jesus will be crucified, the last supper has been shared between Jesus and his disciples, Jesus's time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemani has finished and Judas has just arrived to complete his betrayal.
Let's read together in Matthew 26 will pick it up in verse 47. And while he that's Jesus was still speaking behold Judas, one of the 12 with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. So these were heavily armed representatives of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling political body accompanied by a cohort of Roman soldiers. Now a cohort could contain anywhere between 200 to a thousand fully armed soldiers, but on average it was around six hundred soldiers.
This is a big, big group of armed people coming to arrest Jesus Verse 8, 48, now his betrayer, that's Judas, had given them all of the soldiers, all of the armed people, a sign saying, whomever I kiss he is the one sees him immediately. He went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi, and kissed him, kissed him on the cheek. But Jesus said to him, Friend. Why have you come?
It's staggering that Jesus, even in this moment, still addresses Judas as a friend, even as Judas is betraying Jesus, Jesus is still calling him friend, still extending the opportunity to repent and be brought back into a relationship.
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took him. And suddenly one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Now we know from John's Gospel that the one with the sword cutting off the ear was Peter. And the name of the servant whose ear was cut off was Milkis.
Peter, who fears nothing and nobody draws his sword and courageously goes after one of the only unarmed people in the hostile party completely missing his head and managing to chop off Malcolm's ear. Luke's gospel tells us at this moment that Jesus touched his ear and healed him. Now, had Jesus not healed, the servant, Milkis, Peter might very well have been arrested and been crucified next to Jesus, but Jesus healed off the lopped off ear. And in so doing, he arrest every trace of evidence of Peter's crime, just as he would soon remove every trace of evidence against us and our sin on the cross.
Now, it's interesting to me that the last miracle Jesus did before he went to the cross was to heal someone who had been attacked with the sword by the alleged pope. That's interesting, but I won't get into that right now. Verse 8 52, it says. But Jesus said to him, to Peter, put your sword in its place for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Now, this might seem like a nice little just saying, bye, Jesus, a little comet, but it's actually a massive, massive verse 8 because it's been the basis of some huge debate in the Christian world.
It's the reason that some denominations have split off from others because there are some groups and denominations that adhere to a doctrine of Christian pacifism solely because of this verse 8 because of this verse, they believe that Jesus is saying it's never right to pick up the sword.
It's never right to use a weapon. It's never right to engage in violence for any reason, as is the case with all issues.
When we're trying to understand what the Bible teaches, we have to look at what the whole Bible says about the issue. So you don't find one verse and then build a whole doctrine on one verse. You have to look at everything the whole Bible says about that issue.
And it's interesting when we do that with this verse, because earlier this very same evening, the same day, Jesus had told his disciples this in Luke twenty to thirty six. But now he who has a moneybag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack, and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one and buy one.
And so whatever your position is on the use of force, it has to harmonize with both of these statements from Jesus and everything else that the Bible says about the issues of force and violence.
And it's for that reason that my personal opinion is that Jesus is teaching that Christianity is not to be spread through the use of military force or violence.
In other words, Jesus is the head of the church, he is the one who will preserve and protect the church.
We don't have to take up swords and use violence to protect the church or spread the gospel and build the church.
But I also believe personally that Christians are to defend themselves when they and their families are attacked. If Paul was out spreading the gospel and got attacked by bandits, he wouldn't be in the wrong if he tried to fight back and defend himself. Neither would you be in the wrong if you tried to defend your family, if someone broke in and tried to do them harm. And I understand that not all believers hold that view, but that's my personal view.
And as always, we encourage you to do your own investigation. Study both of those Verse is I mentioned, study everything else the Bible says about this topic and come to your own conclusions.
Jesus continues speaking and he says in verse 53. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to my father and he will provide me with more than 12 legions of angels? That would be seventy two thousand angels. If you're interested in the math and keep in mind that according to Second Kings 1935, a single angel can kill more than one hundred and eighty five thousand men in one night. So think what seventy two thousand angels could do. And this is what Jesus said to Peter.
He says to you, Do you think I need you to defend me? Do you think I need you to pick up the sword to defend the faith? I'm God. I can snap my fingers and my father will send me 72000 angels.
Right now, this isn't happening because I need defending. That's what Jesus is saying. This is why he says, no one takes my life from me. I lay it down willingly. How then could the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen, thus Jesus is Saint Peter, these things have to happen. The scripture has to be fulfilled. And that can't happen if you try and work against scripture.
In that hour, Jesus said to the multitudes, have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple and you did not sees me. But all this was done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. So Jesus is saying, why are you here with hundreds of armed men as though I'm a great threat to overthrow your Roman government right now? Why are why are you here?
Like I'm a violent man. Like this is how many people you need to arrest me. I've taught openly. I've taught in the temple every day. You could have taken me then. No, but you're here with a small army at night because you know what you're doing is wrong. And then Verse 8, 56, ends with these sobering words.
Then all the disciples forsook him and fled. All the disciples forsook him and fled. Nobody has ever experienced loneliness to the degree that Jesus experienced it from the time of his arrest through the time of his death. Nobody. Jesus suffered in a way that nobody has ever suffered, and he went through it completely alone. Jesus knows what it is to be lonely. And so he's able to comfort us in our loneliness. Jesus doesn't have to empathize with our loneliness.
He can sympathize with our loneliness because he's been there and so he's able to be a friend who sticks closer than a brother to you and I in our times of loneliness. John, 18, tells us that after Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemani, he was first taken to the home of A..
Now, A. was the first high priest that had been appointed by the Romans.
And by this point in history, A. had retired or been retired, but still had enough sway because he was kind of the godfather of Jerusalem.
He had enough sway to choose his successor.
And being a corrupt man, he kept it in the family and appointed his own son in law, Caiaphas, to be the next high priest.
All you need to know is that A. was a corrupt man.
He was like the head of the Jewish mafia in Israel at that time. He's a wicked and corrupt man and so was his son in law, Caiaphas. They were all in on the racket that was going on in the temple with sacrifices, all of those things that cause Jesus to go in and clear the temple twice. All of that corruption at the head of that was Caiaphas and A..
It was a priestly mafia. And so when Jesus is brought to the home of a.. A. asks Jesus a question, then he strikes Jesus or has Jesus hit for responding truthfully?
And then a. basically says, you know, Jesus is not my problem. I'm retired. Take him to the home of Caiaphas. And this is all still happening on the night of the Last Supper under the cover of darkness, when Jesus is taken to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, he finds they're waiting for him.
All of the other priests and scribes and elders, the Sanhedrin, their ruling Religious Council of Israel has been gathered at the home of Caiaphas for an illegal night time trial for you see, under the Talmud, the Jewish laws that were created by men like those who were gathered at kyphosis home.
According to the Talmud, trials were not allowed to take place in the hours between the evening and morning sacrifices.
Additionally, the Mishna, the first part of the Talmud states, quote, Let a capital offense be tried during the day, but suspend at night, end quote.
The reason was that if a death penalty was on the table, those judging needed to be in a state of utmost mental clarity, which would not be the case at night. The fact is, write this down that Jesus's arrest, trial and conviction were all carried out illegally, Jesus's arrest, trial and conviction were all carried out illegally.
We'll pick it up in Verse 8 57 and those who had laid hold of Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance to the high priest's courtyard, and he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. So Peter watches from a distance and then sneaks into the courtyard so that he can see from a distance what's going on. Now, the chief priests, the elders and all the council sort false testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but found none.
This, too, is illegal. The judges of the court system in Israel were not supposed to go out and look for charges against someone.
They're not supposed to try and find people to bring the court to bring a blasphemy charge. And then it says, even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none.
So they failed in their attempts to recruit false witnesses. And when they finally found some, they didn't do a very good job because their their accounts couldn't be corroborated. They didn't match up, which was a requirement for witnesses under Jewish law. There had to be at least two witnesses whose testimonies agreed.
Now, in the defense of these Jewish religious leaders, it's very, very tough to bring criminal charges against a man who's never sinned.
You have to do things illegally. That's the only way you can convict a man who's done nothing wrong.
But at last, two false witnesses came forward and said, well, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God and build it in three days.
So finally, the religious leaders are able to get two false witnesses to at least make the same accusation. And the accusation they bring is that they heard Jesus say he would destroy the temple and then rebuild it, which unsurprisingly, was a lie.
Jesus did not say I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands, according to John 219, Jesus actually said destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. And in that same chapter, John clarifies that he was speaking of the temple of his body when the crowd demanded to know what sign Jesus would give to prove that he was messiah. Jesus had replied, If you destroy this temple, I will raise it up in three days.
If you kill me, I will rise again in three days. That is how you will know that I am Messiah. Jesus didn't threaten to destroy the temple. He claimed that he was the true temple and that he would rise again in three days if they destroyed him. Secondly, Jewish law required two witnesses to establish any testimony is being truthful, as we mentioned, with the caveat that these two testimonies agreed with each other. So in Deuteronomy 1915, God's law says one witness shall not rise against another man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits by the mouth of two or three witnesses.
That matter shall be established. Mark's gospel tells us that even when these two witnesses were produced, who made the same accusation, Mark says not even then did their testimony agree. They were false witnesses who were lying about Jesus and their testimonies didn't even agree they shouldn't have counted in the court case, even though they were making the same accusation, the details of what they were saying didn't line up. They should have been thrown out of court.
Verse 8, 62, and the high priest arose and said to him, that's Jesus, do you answer nothing? What is it? These men testify against you, but Jesus kept silent. You see, Jesus wasn't obligated to answer because the accusations were based on witness testimony that did not meet the requirements of the law. Their testimonies did not agree. Therefore, no legal charges could be brought against Jesus and he wasn't required to answer.
This moment was also prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah in his incredible fifty third chapter of the Old Testament book that bears his name.
Isaiah prophesied this about Messiah. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet he opened his mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before its shearers is silent. So he opened not his mouth. Jesus will not protest his unjust treatment. He will simply testify to the truth when his heavenly father tells them to. And at this moment, his father, the Holy Spirit, told Jesus, don't say anything, don't respond.
And the high priest answered and said to him, I put you under oath by the living God. Tell us, if you are the Christ, the son of God, you'll notice that Caiaphas. This question has nothing to do with the charge that Jesus is supposedly being indicted on. Right. He's supposedly being indicted on a charge of terrorism, essentially threatening to destroy the temple. But now Caiaphas is asking him a completely unrelated question, he's asking him, are you the Messiah, the son of God?
And this is important because it's going to show this is the real issue they have with Jesus that he claims to be God. Verse 8 64. Now the Holy Spirit tells Jesus, you need to answer this one. Verse 64. Jesus said to him, It is as you said. What Jesus actually says here is I am. He says, I am answering the question in the affirmative and also the answering the question by using the name of God, I am Aigo.
In the original Greek text, Jesus declares himself to be God and in many ways throughout the Gospels. But in case that's not obvious, Jesus clears things up right here. Are you the Messiah? The Son of God? I am. No confusion, and then Jesus goes on to say, nevertheless, I say to you here, after you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of the power and coming on the clouds of heaven. So not only am I the Messiah, the son of God, but the day is coming when all of you will see me in my glory, sitting at the right hand of my father and returning to the earth in my full power.
Jesus here is also specifically referring to two verses that are found in Daniel Chapter seven, verses 13 and 14. And Jesus is making the radical claim here by saying this, that those verses in Daniel seven are talking about him.
Here's what Daniel wrote in those verses.
He says, I was watching in the night vision. So Daniel says, I had this dream, but it was a dream given to me by God. It was a prophetic dream. And behold, one like the son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the ancient of days. So Daniel sees the sun coming before the father, and they brought him near before him, then to him, to Jesus, to Messiah was given dominion and glory and the kingdom that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him.
His dominion is in everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, the one which shall not be destroyed. The Jews understood that that passage was speaking of and prophesying about the coming messiah.
And it's a big deal when Jesus tells Caiaphas, Daniel, speaking of me, because I am Messiah, I am the son of God. And they also all of these religious scholars would have immediately thought of the rest of that section of Daniel. And so they would have known that Jesus is also claiming I'm the one who's going to be given a kingdom and dominion that will never, ever fade away. I am going to be the king of everything. They would have understood that.
Which is why we see this In verses 65, then the high priest tore his clothes saying he's fucking blasphemy. Jewish culture at this time, tearing your clothes was an outward expression of inner dismay, angst or grief, and Caiaphas tears his clothes to show how dismayed he is by Jesus's claim to be messiah. They don't believe Jesus is messiah. They don't believe he's God. So they therefore believe that Jesus is committing blasphemy, that he's falsely claiming to be God.
When you look at the question that Jesus was asked, when you look at his answer, when you look at his clarification and when you look at the response we see from the religious leaders, you cannot read these verse is with any degree of reason and not conclude that Jesus explicitly claimed to be God in the flesh. You cannot come to any other conclusion. So write this down because this is a big thing. During Jesus trials, his own words and the response of his accusers will make it clear that he claimed to be Messiah.
God in the flesh. He claimed to be Messiah. God in the flesh. Caiaphas continues and says to the court, what further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you've heard is blasphemy. However, the Mishna says the judges shall weigh the matter in the sincerity of their conscience. Does it sound like Caiaphas is trying to make sure that the Sanhedrin weighs this matter?
Well, not at all. And in the law of God, in Leviticus 21 10, we read he who is the high priest among his brethren on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who was consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes.
Caiaphas is tearing his robe and in so doing, violating the law, and he's saying things to stir up a mob mentality in the Sanhedrin so that law will be disregarded and Jesus will be illegally convicted and sentenced to death as soon as possible. Then Caiaphas asks the Sanhedrin, what do you think? They answered and said he's deserving of death.
That means they were convicting Jesus of the capital offence of blasphemy, a charge and conviction that could only be laid if Jesus was making the claim that he was God.
When you get into the trial of Jesus, the trials of Jesus, it destroys the claim of those who will say, well, Jesus never claimed to be God.
Yes, he did read the Gospels.
It was the entire basis of his arrest. It was his own testimony during his illegal trial, and it was the charge that was used to convict him. The reason Jesus was crucified was because he made the claim that he was God. Despite a total lack of evidence, despite knowing that every witness that had been brought forward had been bribed by the court, despite knowing that none of their testimonies agreed, meeting the requirement of the law, despite knowing that every aspect of this trial was illegal and violated the law in the scriptures we read, they answered and said he is deserving of death.
Then they spat in his face and beat him and others struck him with the palms of their hands, saying prophesy to us, Christ, who's the one who struck you?
They spit on Jesus, the greatest insult a Jew could direct toward another person, and then they blindfold him and as he's blindfolded, unable to see each punch coming, they hit him in the face over and over again and mockingly tell him to use his powers to tell them which of them had struck him. That last scene is is so dark and it's so disturbing, and if you love Jesus, you can't help but be grieved as you read it. And then perhaps, like me, the thought crosses your mind, man, I would not want to be of one of those.
Who spat in the face of Jesus, punched the face of Jesus. And have to stand before Jesus one day in eternity. But when I have that thought, it's quickly followed by another thought. The truth that before Jesus save me, I was one of those men and worse. Before Jesus save me. I was lined up on the side of the enemies of God. I was holding up two middle fingers toward the heavens, I was spitting in the face of my creator, I was mocking the God of the universe.
Because there are only ever two sides in play, the children of God and the enemies of God. And if you're not a child of God, then you are on the side, you are lined up with the enemies of God. There is no neutral ground. There is no spiritual Switzerland. Being undecided doesn't put you in the middle. It's the thinnest, finest of lines that places you either on one side or the other. You are a child of God right now.
Or you are an enemy of God. Before Jesus save me. I was one of those men spitting on him and striking him in the face, and I was also one of those who drove the nails into his hands and feet. I was one of those gambling for his garments as he hung on the cross. And I was the soldier who pierced his side with a spear to ensure that the life had left. I was all of that and more because I was once an enemy of God.
And that is why the love of Jesus toward me, towards you. Is so amazing in Romans five, the apostle Paul writes this. For scarcely for a righteous man, will one die yet, perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him, for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life while we were still sinners.
While we still had his blood on our hands. While the split was still on the side of our mouths. While we were still mocking and cursing him, Jesus loved us and died for us. While we were still the enemies of God. Jesus brought us back in the relationship with him. What can you say about the Lord? That's why we love him so much. He's just good, he's just kind in a way that's indescribable. Let's switch our focus for a few minutes to Peter.
He was the most outspoken, the most confident and the oldest of Jesus's disciples, when earlier Jesus had told his disciples that all of them would stumble that night because of him.
Peter was the one who had responded by saying, even if all are made to stumble because of you. I will never be made to stumble. Jesus replied, Assuredly, I say to you that this night before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times, Peter said to him, Even if I have to die with you.
I will not deny. And we read in verse 69 now, Peter sat outside in the courtyard. He's been following from a safe distance. And a servant girl came to him saying. You also were with Jesus of Galilee, but he denied it before the mall, saying, I don't know what you're saying. That's denial number one. And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, this fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
But again, he denied with an oath. I do not know the man. It's denial number two. And a little later, those who stood by came up and said to Peter, surely you also are one of them for your speech betrays you. Peter's Galilean accent was giving him away. For 74, then he began to curse and swear to make oaths, saying, I do not know the man.
What's the difference between cursing and swearing while one is cussing, but the other is making oaths? So what Peter is actually saying when it says he's cursing and swearing, he's saying things along the lines of May my soul be damned if I'm lying. That's what he's saying. Denial number three. And now comes some of the most gut wrenching verses in the Bible. Immediately. A rooster crowed. And Luke's gospel tells us that at this moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him before, the rooster crows, You will deny me three times. So he went out and he wept bitterly. When Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Right in the eyes. Peter was just. Overwhelmed with shame, overwhelmed with shame. And he ran out the courtyard weeping. Earlier that evening, Luke's gospel tells us that Jesus had told Peter, Satan has asked for you, that he may lift you as wheat.
In other words, Peter Satan's ask for permission to put you to the test and turn up the heat. And permission has been granted. The good news was that Jesus also told Peter, but I've prayed for you, that your faith should not fail. Peter's reaction upon hearing the rooster crowing, his immediate weeping, tells us it was not his faith that had failed. It was his courage that had failed. He hadn't lost faith in Jesus. But he hadn't yet found the courage and the strength to stand for Jesus.
And when Jesus looked at Peter, I don't think it was the look of disappointment, I think it was a look of compassion because that's the way Jesus looks. You and I, when we mess up, he's never angry with us. He's never surprised by our behavior. I think he's heartbroken for us. The same way that that any loving parent hates to see their child go through pain, the Lord hates to see us go through pain. And so we bring unnecessary pain into our life when we embrace sin, we welcome destruction into our life, then it's going to bring pain and God knows that.
And so Jesus looks at Peter with compassion. And we all know it's true that compassion breaks a man far more quickly than condemnation. Historians tell us that four years after this event when Peter would preach outside the church gathering in public. Sometimes someone in the crowd would start calling out cock a doodle doo. Cock a doodle doo. Can you imagine? Can you imagine how he felt every time he heard a rooster crow in the morning for the rest of his life?
I can tell you exactly how he felt. He felt thankful. He felt grateful. As he woke up a forgiving man. A saved man. A disciple of Jesus, an adopted son of God. As he woke up, he felt grateful because he would have recalled the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who said through the Lord's Mercies, we are not consumed because his compassions failed not they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. You see, that's how you move on.
After a catastrophic failure in your walk with Jesus, that's how you move on when you've really blown it. Satan will do everything he can to remind you of your failures, because Satan wants to get you bound up in shame and guilt and condemnation, because if Satan can do that, you'll shrink back into the shadows of isolation and secrecy, where Satan is most powerful and where he can just get to work tearing you apart.
Or. Or. You can be honest. You can confess your sin. And you can experience the forgiveness and grace of Jesus, and then every time Satan brings it up, tries to rope you in with shame and condemnation, you can use that sin that Satan's bringing up as a reminder to thank the Lord that you've been forgiven.
To thank Jesus that he's already purchased and paid for your sin, and then when that sin and failure is brought up to your memory, that disastrous let down, it will only cause you to love Jesus more and to become more grateful to him for your salvation, because you let it remind you of how great the forgiveness of God is in your life. And that's what Peter chose to do. How do I know that? Because after the resurrection, Peter didn't shrink back.
The man who was too afraid to admit to even knowing Jesus to a servant girl. Stood up. The Book of Acts after he received the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter two, and he preached to thousands in the city that had murdered Jesus just weeks earlier. And he preached the gospel and called them to repentance for rejecting Jesus. And they turn to the Lord by the thousands. Peter would go on to be one of the leaders of the Jerusalem church and would go down in history as one of the most effective ministers of the faith of all time.
Your sins and failures will be brought up by Satan. You can count on that. And when those sins and those failures are brought up. You will either run to the darkness in guilt and shame or you will run toward Jesus with fresh gratitude and thankfulness over your forgiveness. When your past is brought up by anyone. Be honest about it. But also be honest about the grace and forgiveness of Jesus that has set you free from. Make a note of this.
The best way to move on from past failures is to let them serve as reminders of God's grace, forgiveness and kindness.
The best way to move on from past failures is to let them serve as reminders of God's grace, kindness and forgiveness. We're going to have a time of worship in just a moment, and I'm going to ask that you would use that time. To thank Jesus just for loving you. For suffering and dying for you while you were still as enemy, you were still as enemy. And perhaps for some of us, we need to be reminded that if Jesus loved us while we were still his enemies.
Then he loves us now. Even when we fail to be a very good friend to him right now, because his love for us does not depend on us, it's never depended on us. It depends on him. We know that because he loved us while we were still his enemies were covered by his blood. We're covered by his righteousness and his love never fails because that's who he is. That's who he is. And if you've never given your life over to Jesus, if you've never accepted his invitation of forgiveness and healing, if you've never asked him to be your savior and your God.
Then this is your moment to ask him. Just ask him, say, come into my life, be my God, I give my life over to you, do that as we worship in this coming time.
And I'm going to pray for us in just a second.
But if you've never given your life to Jesus, I do want to ask you that as soon as we finish the service, you go to my new hope.
That's the gospel and watch a video there that will tell you more about what Jesus has done for you. Don't let this moment pass you by. Make sure you go there and do that when the service is done. And so with that, would you by your head pray with me? Jesus, thank you so much that that you loved us while we were still your enemies.
Father, thank you for sending your son while we were still your enemies.
Thank you that your love for us has never depended on anything that we do. While we were enemies or even now that we've been bought, brought into the family of God. Were kept in your family because of what Jesus has done and we are so thankful for that, Father.
I pray right now for for any who are wrestling with condemnation and guilt and shame that's being brought up by the enemy. If there needs to be repentance. Lord, let us repent. That we might be brought into the light and experience the peace and the joy of being forgiven by you. Father, I pray for all who have repented but are just being reminded of their past sins. Lord led it instead be a reminder to thank you that we are forgiving to thank you that the cross has taken care of our sin.
We love you so much because you loved us. First Lord, we bless you for who you are, your good and your kind and your gracious in a way that we cannot adequately describe. And we're so thankful that you have brought us from the side of being your enemies to being your friends, brothers and sisters of Jesus, sons and daughters of the father. Thank you for loving us, Lord, in your precious name we pray. Amen.