Courageous Gratitude

by Greg Laurie on Nov 28, 2019
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
—Hebrews 12:2

Jesus, who is God, knows all things. And there in the Upper Room, He knew what was about to happen.

He was about to identify His betrayer, Judas Iscariot, and said, “What you do, do quickly” (John 13:27 NKJV). He also identified His denier, Simon Peter, telling him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times” (John 13:38 NKJV).

And then Jesus gave thanks. Mark’s gospel tells us, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many’” (Mark 14:22–24 NKJV).

The bread and the cup symbolized His body that soon would be broken and His blood that soon would be shed. Jesus knew they would beat Him beyond human recognition. He knew they would scourge Him with a Roman whip, probably the cat-o’-nine tails. And He knew they would nail Him to a cross.

Jesus knew He would take the sin of the world upon Himself. How could you give thanks at a time like that? He gave thanks because, despite the horrific things that were about to happen, the greatest good in all the universe was about to take place: the salvation of all people who would put their faith in Him.

So He gave thanks. He gave thanks because He knew what it would accomplish.

We have a lot to give thanks for today. Let’s give thanks to the Father for loving us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, who died in our place and then rose from the dead.

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