21 Jun 2020

I’ll Not Deny You [Matthew 26:30-35]


Jesus said that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We need to pray daily for protection from sin and temptation. We need to depend on God in prayer to fight sin and temptation. Peter, like many of us, had to learn it the hard way. He over-estimated himself, and fell away from Jesus. Let us learn then that desire and determination are not enough. We need to depend on God in prayer. This sermon will help you fight spiritual battles against sin by prayer. But what's more, is that this story tells us something even greater! It speaks of Jesus' unchanging and strong love. He would be denied by His Father, because He will not deny us. Find out what this means in the sermon here- "I will not deny you!"


Sermon Transcript

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A very good morning to all of you and welcome to Gospel Light. I'm sure many Singaporeans today are very happy because we are now enjoying an increased level of freedom here in Singapore, as we move towards phase 2 in our response towards the COVID-19 situation.

Thank God for seeing us through these few months. And I want to encourage you that we will continue not just to endure through this time, but you will actively drink in the Gospel by word and prayer, that you might live out and give out the Gospel.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish all fathers here, a very blessed Father's Day. I trust this will be a day you feel appreciated. And I also hope that this will be a day you reflect upon your role as a father. May you look towards our supreme example, in God, our Father, that you might model that fatherhood, towards your children. May God use you to raise godly families.

I also like to thank all of you for joining me in the past six, seven weeks, as we looked at what it means to follow Jesus in our Christian Education Program, our CEP conducted on Saturdays. We are going to take one week break and then pastor Chee Kin will follow that up with a six-week series on knowing God's will. We pray that as you continue to hear God's Word, He will mold and shape your lives to Christ likeness, for His glory.

Well, without much ado, I'd like us now to dive into the sermon, into the message that God has for us, today. We have been looking at “48”, a series that focuses on the last two days of the Lord's life before He goes to the cross. Once again, take a look at this wonderful sermon trailer produced by our communications team.

A story is told of a renowned brain surgeon walking along the streets one day, when he saw a boy knocked over by a car. He immediately rushed to that boy and he called the bystanders to get an ambulance while he administered first aid to that boy.

After a while, another boy, maybe a little bit older than the boy knocked down, barged through the crowds, and stood in front of the brain surgeon. He said to him, “Sir, I'm a Boy Scout, and I've been trained in first aid, I can take over now.”  I like that boy's courage and sense of initiative. However, I suspect he might have overestimated himself.

We're going to read a story today about over estimating oneself. It's found in Matthew 26 and let's dive in, in verse 30. The Bible says, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” [Matthew 26:30] So Jesus and His disciples had concluded the Last Supper. Judas had gone to betray Jesus to the religious leaders and now Jesus is moving towards the Garden of Gethsemane.

And along the way, Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” [Matthew 26:31] Now Jesus, along this journey towards the garden of Gethsemane, drops another bombshell.

Now, it's not the first time Jesus is revealing that He will suffer and He will die. But this is new to the disciples, that they will betray, or they will flee from Jesus; they will run away from Jesus, they will scatter from Him.

Now obviously, this is very uncomfortable for the disciples to hear that, that they will actually do that, this very night. So “Peter, answered, “Though they all fall away because of you, I'll never fall away.”” [Matthew 26:33] Now, you got to give it to Peter; he's so resolute. He's so clear in his convictions – “I'll never fall away from You, and even if they fall away.” You see that kind of a… perhaps pride in him. “Even if Andrew and James and John will betray you, I will never betray you. I will never fall away, Lord.”  When he says this I – I think of a song in “Sisters' Act”: I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go… Now, you say that's not a very good song. Alright, I think of another Christian song: though none go with me, still I will follow. Those are the songs that come to mind when I read Peter saying, “Even if they will leave You, if they should fall away. I will never fall away.” [Matthew 26:33]

Now, like I said, Peter has a good desire, he has a great determination. He says, “I will never follow – I will never fall away from Jesus. But, “Jesus then said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”” [Matthew 26:34] “No Peter, you will deny Me. You will fall away. In fact, I'm going to give you a very specific sign, so that you know this will definitely come true. You will deny Me three times before the rooster crows.”

Now Peter, probably very agitated now, says, “Even if I must die with You, even if it costs me my life, I will not deny You” – and in order not to feel too left out, if in order not to be like, behind Peter – “the disciples said the same thing, “I will not deny You.”” [Matthew 26:35]

We're going to look today at this story of overestimating ourselves, overestimating oneself. It's really just encapsulated in this phrase Peter said, “I will not deny You.”  Like I said, I think Peter had a good desire. Peter had a great determination. It's good for him to say, “I will not deny Jesus. I will not fall away from Him.” It's a good desire! But the problem is he has overestimated himself. He doesn't know that he has not the power to remain faithful to Jesus. Now, this is, by the way, not something that came out of the blue, for Peter. We read in John chapter 13:37-38, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for You.” And Jesus said, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow, till you have denied Me three times.””

You say, “That's a repeat.” No, that's not a repeat. This is something Jesus said in the upper room. John chapter 13 to John chapter 17 records the dialogue, the conversations Jesus had with the disciples in the upper room.

But Matthew 26 is about Jesus en route to the garden of Gethsemane. In other words, Jesus is telling Peter, “You will deny Me a second time.” But Peter will not have it. He says, “No, I will never do that. I will always stay loyal to You.”

Now, later on, Jesus brought the disciples to the garden of Gethsemane. And He gave them a very simple but important instruction. He said to them, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” [Matt 26:41] “Your faith is going to be, going to be tried like never before. And it is necessary, it's important that you be watching and praying.”

Guess what Peter did? Guess what the disciples did? Well, the Bible told us that, “They all fell asleep.” Now, you could say, “Oh! They must have been very tired. It has been a long day.” I agree to that. “They must be very sorrowful because it is dawning upon them that Jesus would die and is very sad and therefore it's… it's reasonable, it's understandable that with sorrow and tiredness, they will sleep.” Yes, that's true.

But I think their sleeping probably also communicates their lack of awareness of their desperate need for God. They must have felt, “Now, we can handle this. It's fine! We are not that needy. We can cope with this.”

And of course, later on when Jesus was apprehended, the Bible tells us, “Then all of Jesus' followers left Him and ran away.” [Mark 14:50] What about Peter? He ran. And indeed, he denied the Lord three times before the rooster crows.

So you say, “Why did they all fall away? What was the problem? What was Peter’s problem?” His desire was great. His determination was right there. You say, “What's the problem?” Jesus puts His finger to the problem; He diagnoses it, spot on. He said to them when He was entering the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Why? Because, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

“You have a good desire. You have a good determination, but the problem is that the flesh is weak.”  So this is the lesson, we must learn about Peter when he says, “I will not deny You.”

The lesson is this – in the face of temptation, desire and determination are not enough. Let me say this – in the face of temptation, desire and determination are not enough. You need dependence on God in prayer.

You need these 3Ds together. Desire is good, determination is good, but your dependence must be right on. You need dependence on God in prayer. That's why Jesus says, “Watch and pray! You cannot handle this; your flesh is weak.” You need God's grace, you need God's help, you need to hold on to God. You need to cry for His enabling in your life. So watch and pray.

And isn't this what Jesus taught His disciples about prayer? Yes, we pray about God's glory, we pray about God's Will, God's kingdom. We pray for daily bread, we pray for forgiveness. But this is also what we need to pray daily – “Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” [Matt 6:13] “Lord, do not allow us to fall into a test that is beyond us. But deliver us from sin, from Satan, from the evil one.”

This is something we need to pray. Why? Because we can't do it on our own. So, in the face of temptation, it's good that you desire to honor God, it's good that you have settled in your heart, I should not disobey God. But you can't succeed in fighting sin and temptation, until you learn to depend on God, in prayer.

This is a picture of an elderly man, actually a quite well-known elderly man in Christian circles. His name is J. I. Packer. You can Google him up. He's very advanced in age already, but he has been a blessing to many people through his writings.

Now, J. I. Packer speaks about how we need to depend on God, in prayer, in fighting sin and facing temptation. How can we kill sin? How can we wrestle against temptation in our life? By sheer willpower? By sheer determination? No! That's not enough. You need to learn to kill sin on your knees, in prayer.

Now the old saints called this, ‘the mortification of sin’. I say such a big word – yes! Mortification means to put to death. You probably have heard the word, ‘mortuary’. That's where dead people go. So mortification of sin, is the killing of sin. How can we kill sin! He's going to show you. You kill sin, by prayer.

So let me show you a video clip, short one of what it means to kill sin, by prayer.

“Personal prayer begins before the throne of God, with my acknowledgement that He is great, glorious, all powerful and ready to help me. And I am weak, unstable, with no strength of my own, to get things right, in spiritual terms. And thus I need His help and need it urgently.

I must ask the Lord to enter, to direct the Holy Spirit within me, to drain the life out of sin. I continue to pray. I cherish grateful love to the Father and the Son in my heart. I thank the Lord Jesus for the new life that I already have in Him. Risen, as indeed I am, in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, called to holiness and promised all the enabling that I need to achieve holiness.

I expect to find, as I pray along these lines, day by day, and well, it depends on…on…on the sin that's bothering me at the moment, it may be hour by hour. But as I pray regularly along these lines, so I look to find and by the grace of God again and again, I do find, that the sinful desire which was grabbing my heart is getting weaker. And love of loyalty to the Lord and Spirit of praise, adoration, thanksgiving is getting stronger and stronger. And I experience at that point what Thomas Chalmers called, ‘the explosive power of a new affection.’

Love to the Father and the Son, simply drains the life out of love for sin, for the habits and for the particular habits in which sin expresses itself. So I am cold and indeed, in my heart deep down, I want to go into action with this prayer procedure for draining the life out of them. And I think that this is a discipline, which every Christian has to wake up to, right at the beginning of the Christian life and continue with, as long as we are in this world at all.

So, I picked up what I know about mortification, very soon after my conversion, and that was more than 65 years ago. Yes, it was! And the modification is still necessary. And from time to time, I have to go back to the beginning and labor in the practice of mortification, as described.” [End of video clip]

“So I'm called, and indeed in my heart deep down, I want to go into action with this prayer procedure for draining the life out of it, out of sin.” [J.I Packer]

So, I hope this simple clip will help you understand what it means to enter into the mortification of sin, by prayer. You want to kill sin in your life, you can't do it on your own. You want to fight temptation, you want to face it well, you can't do it on your own.

Why? Like Peter, if you overestimate yourself, you're going to fall. Recognize Jesus' saying, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So Packer goes on to say, “So I picked up what I know about mortification very soon after my conversion, more than 65 years ago, and mortification is still necessary.” Every day. “The activity by which the Christian directly secures the mortification of sins is prayer.” [J.I Packer]

So, I like to encourage you, pray regularly, till that grip of that specific sin, [sic: lose], loosens and when love for God rises in your heart. John Bunyan, he would say, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”

William Cooper, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” Why? Because he's calling upon the power of God to produce an expulsive power of a new affection that will drive out sin.

Now, let me give you a few practical examples. Suppose today, you drive and you know when we drive, temptations can come. There can be an inconsiderate driver who just cut your lane, or someone who is just blaring his horn at you at the back. And you feel so irritated, and the natural tendency is to take revenge. You want to fight back. You want to shout at him. You want to lower the window and give him a good taste of his own medicine.

But you remember God's Word that says, “No, we are not to avenge ourselves.” You remember God's Word that, “We are to love our neighbor.”  You remember God's Word that says, “Be angry and sin not.” Don't have that kind of sinful anger.

And so you say, “Alright, I want to honor God, I want to honor Jesus and I will not take revenge,” and you control yourself.  You do very well in reining in your emotions, in not expressing your anger. You try your very best until this guy drives by you and he gives you that look.

Oh! At that moment, the dam bursts. All your emotions flow out and you start to chase him. You scold him, you horn him, you cut him – you do all those things. And when you have done it all, you feel so sorry for yourself, you feel so disappointed with yourself.

And you say, “Why? Why is it that I cannot control my anger? Why is it that I'm always subject to these outbursts?”  You sinned and you regretted it, and you want to repent from it. You say, “What's wrong?”

So people go to different resources and they say, “8 ways to avoid road rage.”  How can I control myself and people give all kinds of tips.

But according to the Bible, let me tell you your problem. If your problem is not desire because you want to honor Jesus. If your problem is not determination, because deep in your heart, you truly want to stay faithful to God and not sin. Then I suggest to you, your problem is dependence.

You did not depend on God. You just depended on willpower. You just grit your teeth and say, “I will not do it.”  But you know, all it takes is one more straw on the camel's back, and it absolutely breaks you. So, can I suggest to you, next time someone cuts the lane, don't say, “I'm going to ‘lun’” [control in Hokkien dialect], but say, “God, help me please.”

Turn that inward psychology, turn that inward willpower to say, “Lord, help me. Help me, cherish You. Help me love You. Help me know Your love. That my love for self, that my love for vengeance, that my love to get right or to get even, will be pushed out by a love for You.”

And keep praying because that guy is going to come in front of you. And then he's gonna come in front of you and he's going to come in front of you. But each time he comes in front of you, keep praying. Pray regularly until that desire to take revenge, until that desire to get even, loosens its grip on your heart. Try that. Because desire and determination alone are not enough.

How about for ladies? Maybe you walk by a shop and you see something really beautiful. You want to buy it, but you know you shouldn't. I'm not saying that it is wrong to buy stuff. I'm not saying it's wrong to buy clothing. But maybe in this case, you know clearly, it's not what the Lord wants you to buy. You shouldn't buy but you're so tempted by it.

You walk by the shop, you say “Ah! I want this dress. Oh, I want this bag. Oh, I love this pair of shoes. I want to buy even though I know I shouldn't but ah, I'm going to control myself.” Now you realize, you can’t control very long. You might walk by the shop but you go online, you click on it and so on. And after a while, you find that regularly, you succumb to temptation.

Can I suggest something? Maybe husbands should be very glad I speak about this. Wives, if you know that it's not something God would have you to purchase, because it might not be good stewardship and you're convinced about that and you need grace to be delivered, then I say, please come to God in a place of prayer. Go to God on your knees. Go to God and say, “Lord, kill this desire. Let my love for you push out the love for the things of this world.”

I think, that's what it means to kill greed and covetousness in our lives, not by our own-selves, but by the power of God.

Maybe some of you wrestle with worry and anxiety. And you have been going through self-talk. Psychologists teach you to go to self-talk.  Tell yourself. Tell yourself. Tell yourself. But let me say this, “Self-talk is powerless. Only God can truly deliver us from worrying.”

I'm not saying that all worry is purely spiritual. I believe oftentimes, there is a medical and also a spiritual component to things. But I'm saying I believe, that as we do our best to address medical issues, the Bible tells us that when we come to God in prayer and thanksgiving, God will give us the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

So in Philippians 4, there is a direct promise, that as we look to Him in prayer, as we call out to God, as we depend on Him, He will deliver us from that fear and anxiety and worry. Maybe today, you're struggling through that and you've been questioning why. You're asking, “What can I do?”  And you said, “I've tried my very best to fight it.”

I say to you, “Keep fighting it but not on your own. Keep fighting it in prayer.” And when I say, “Keep fighting it in prayer,” doesn't mean you pray once and you expect a miracle. But you keep praying until the love of God wells up in your soul and it pushes out fears and insecurities and anxieties.

How about those who are struggling today with bitterness, with anger? You say, “I need to forgive but I just can't forgive.” I say, “You're absolutely right! You can't forgive. But God can enable you to forgive.” So I pray that once again, if there's a root of bitterness in your soul, ask God today, by His grace, “Lord, deliver me. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Deliver me from bitterness.”

Or maybe some of you – you are constantly being tempted by pornography on the internet. You will yourself, you say, “I should not.  I must not.” But you find yourself clicking on things that you shouldn't be clicking on, seeing things you shouldn't be seeing.

And you are so discouraged with yourself. You're so frustrated with yourself because it's a cyclical issue. You keep falling into sin, even though you try your very best. You can say, honest to your heart, “I am desiring to honor God. I have determined to honor God but I keep falling flat on my face.”

Then I say again, learn to mortify sin by praying; regularly pray. Pray until that desire for pornography, for sexual lusts, fades away. Pray until God's love for you is so concrete and real for you. Pray till Thomas Chalmers words – the expulsive power of a new affection – fills your soul.

So, remember the words of Jesus, “Lead us not into temptation, Lord, but deliver us from evil.” [Matt 6:13] “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation, the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matt 26:41]

So when Peter says, “I will not deny You.” I think it would have been great, if he could say, “Lord, help me not to deny you, because I have no power on my own, I need to look to you in prayer.” So this is the word or this is the sentence from Peter – I will not deny You.

But I want to remind you, when we go through the book of Matthew, whilst it's interesting to look at these various characters, Matthew is primarily about Jesus. It's about Jesus as our King, as our supreme King, far greater than any one of us.

And in this story, I actually see that not only that Peter say, “I will not deny You.” I read also that Jesus ‘says’, “I will not deny you.”

Now I put the word, ‘said’ in inverted commas because He did not actually articulate the same words, but He expressed this conviction. He expressed His determination and His decision, never and not to leave His disciples.

How do you see that? I see that in verse 32, “But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”   Now, look at this! Jesus is saying to the disciples, you will scatter from me. You will flee from Me.  You will forsake Me. You will desert Me. But you know what, I'm not going to forsake you. I'm not going to desert you. After I am raised, I will wait for you. And I'll meet with you and you will be My people and I will be your Lord.  “After I'm raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Amazing!

The disciples will forsake Jesus, Jesus knows that, but He will not forsake them. Isn't this a picture of a great, strong, unchangeable, unbreakable love of God, for us? I mean, the Bible tells us in Romans chapter 8, about this strong love from God, this commitment from God, that, “Nothing, absolutely nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39]

What a – what an amazing promise this is. No matter what you do, you cannot make God un-love you; if you're called, if you are justified, if you are His, then, there is nothing that can ever break the love of God for you.

In fact, in Hebrews chapter 13:5, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Wow! “I'll never!” Never is a long word you know. Never is never! Yes, I know it's five letters, but it's a long word. Never is never. And if I may say, in the Greek – you know the Bible, a lot of it is written in the Greek, especially the New Testament – it is even stronger than what we read in the English.

We say, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” It seems clear enough. But in the Greek, it's even more emphatic. Now, these are the Greek words there, I do not pretend to know Greek. But I do know that each of these words translated, looks like this: Never, No, You Leave. Nor, Never, No, You Forsake. “I will never leave you. No never. I will never forsake you. No Never.”

So if you notice, there are five negatives there – never, no, [sic: nor], never, no. In fact, it's very interesting that Spurgeon, when he was preaching in Hebrews 13, verse 5, his title of his sermon was “Never, No, Never, No, Never.”  Just no, no way, no way, will I ever forsake you.

You know, there are people who regularly pray this, “O Lord, I invite you into my life. Lord, I invite you into our church. We welcome Your presence.”  Let me say this, you…you never need to invite God into your life, if you are His. He's always with you. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

And that's why, there's this song called, “How firm a foundation”, that says: The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, that soul that has trusted in Jesus Christ, I will not, I will not desert to his foes; that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!”

In essence, Jesus is saying, “I will not deny you. I love you. Even if you could do everything to make Me un-love you, I will not leave you. I will not deny you.”  Wow, that's the love of God for you, my friends.

Maybe today, you feel like a Peter. You feel miserable because you've sinned against God. You've broken His laws. You've broken His heart. And you fear and you feel that perhaps God will not love you anymore.

My friends, I want to tell you today there's nothing you do, if you're truly His child, there is nothing you do, that can break this love He has for you. He has chosen you before the foundation of the world, and He will never forsake you. So, we can come to God.

In 1st John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You can come to God today and ask Him to cleanse you and wash you. And not just because He loves you. The point here that John is saying is that, “He is faithful and just. He is looking to the finished work of Jesus.” Do you realize that?

He's saying, “If Jesus had died for you, if Jesus has paid for your sins, then God cannot be unjust, God cannot be unfaithful, not to forgive you.”  He's appealing to something even more inflexible – the righteousness of God, to guarantee your forgiveness.

So if you are Peter, if you feel like a Peter today, come to God, ask for forgiveness. And He is faithful. He is just, He loves you in Jesus Christ – that will never change. Be restored to God today. I pray you'll find the peace of God in your heart.  And joy will well from your heart once again as you confess your sins.

The Bible tells us, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” [Hebrews 14:5] “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” [Hebrews 14:6]

If God will never leave you nor forsake you, you can always come to God in moments of temptation and weakness. Ask God for mercy and grace.

Maybe today, you're going through a hard time, a painful trial and you start to say, “Where is God in all this? Why am I suffering?” Let me remind you, God has never left you and He will never forsake you.

Trust Him. The world and circumstances are shouting out at you, “God does not love you.”  But look to God and His Word. Hear His voice in the Scriptures. He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I love you.” And then look to the cross. Look to the cross, where He gave His Son to die for your sins. “If God has given you His Son while we were yet sinners, how will He not with Him, also freely give you all things?”

Yes, life is difficult! There are pains and sufferings. But believe God that He's working all things, even painful things, for your ultimate good because He's never going to un-love you, forsake you, deny you.

This is Jesus' intent when He said I know you're going to forsake Me, but I'm not going to forsake you guys; I love you. “And after I am raised, I will go before you.” [Matt 26:32] I'll meet with you, I'll be with you again. I will not forsake you.

My friends, that love of Jesus for His disciples is so strong, that even here, we are reminded that He's actually going to die for them. “After I'm raised …”  When?  “…. After I die.”  Jesus is saying, “I'm going to die for your sins.” I mean, He just announced that at the Last Supper, “I'm going to be that, like that Passover Lamb. I'm going to be sacrificed. This cup that you drink is to remind you of the blood that I will shed. I'm going to be sacrificed on the cross. I love you so much that I'm going to die on the cross to pay for your sins. I'm going to be stricken by [sic: this], by God.”

He says in Matthew 26, verse 31, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written…” – He quotes Zechariah 13:7 – “…I will strike the shepherd.” This is a quote saying, “God, the Father will strike the Shepherd, His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Why is Jesus struck? Why is Jesus suffering? Because Jesus is the Lamb that takes away the sins of those He loves. Jesus will be that sacrifice, that Passover Lamb. It is through His death that the New Covenant can be introduced. It's through His blood, that our lives may be cleansed.

“And Jesus therefore will be the Man despised and rejected by all. A Man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.” [Isaiah 53:4]

Jesus loves His people so much, that He's going to die on the cross, even when He's forsaken by all. Do you know that on the cross, he was denied by everyone? He was denied by everyone. They said, “Don't bother Him, Jesus.  We want to see if Elijah will come to save Him. [Matt 27:45-50] “Let's see if anyone will come to His rescue!”

And the answer? No one came; He was all alone.  Jesus went to the cross, when no one would follow Him. Jesus would go to the cross, when everybody deserted Him.  Jesus would go to the cross, when He is absolutely forsaken, by all.  No one went with Him, not even God, the Father.  Because He cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.” That is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” [Matt 27:46]

You know something? Jesus was forsaken of His God, so that you will never be forsaken of God, by God.  “I will not leave you. I will not deny you.” It is so strong, that He would go to the cross alone to face the full wrath of God, due for your sins.

My friends, what a contrast! And I think this is the point Matthew is making. Peter, he said, “I will not deny You,” but he failed. Jesus said, “I will not deny you,” and He went to the cross for you. This is our King. What a King! What a King!

No wonder in heavens above, in time to come, all of us who are His, would sing together, worthy is the Lamb. And may you today – as you see the commitment of Jesus for you, the commitment of Jesus to die for our sins – encourage your heart, fill your soul with assurance and comfort, even as we go through tough times.

I pray that the love of Jesus will inspire your worship and service to God. And I pray my brothers or my friends here, as you know God's love. God loves us, not because we are lovely, God loves us because He is love.

As you see God's love, in sending His Son to die for your sins, you today, would turn from sin and believe in Jesus. Don't try to earn God's favor by your own works; the flesh is weak. Learn to come to the foot of the cross. Humble yourself and say, “Lord Jesus, help me. Save me from my sin.”  May God bless you with repentance and faith. Let's bow together in prayer.

Father, we thank You this morning that we can remember Your Son, whilst we are reminded about the impotence of the flesh, how the flesh is weak and how we need to learn to trust You in prayer. I believe the greater glory in this passage is the faithfulness of God and His Son.

Lord, I pray today that Your people would learn to trust You, would find comfort in our soul. Your people today, would experience that expulsive power of a new affection. Knowing the greatness of Your love, may we love You more.

And I pray for friends who are tuning in right now, that Your Spirit will also work in their hearts, that they will see the love in the Bible, the love of God for sinners. And that they too, may turn and believe in Jesus that they might be saved. So bless each one, we thank You in Jesus’ Name. Amen. God bless.

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