King's Business - 1915-04



might do, he would not prove unfaithful; yet he failed most sorely of the whole com­ pany. His very self-confidence had much to do with his fall (cf.- Prov. 16:18). It would have been better for him to have looked to God in prayer to hold him up (cf. Ps. 119:117) than to have made this empty boast. Peter’s confidence in his own faith­ fulness was an illustration of the deceitful­ ness of the human heart (Jer. 17:9). Any man who trusts in his own heart is a fool (Prov. 28:26). In answer to Peter’s self- confident assertion of his own loyalty and faithfulness, Jesus more specifically de­ clares his utter failure (v. 34). Even this terrific answer did not humble Peter’s pride. Peter must learn wisdom and hu­ mility in the bitter school of experience. That he had at last learned the lesson his own writings clearly prove (1 Pet. 5:5). Every one of ous should learn a lesson from the self-confidence and subsequent fall of Peter (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12), but Peter was not alone in his self-confidence; all the disciples shared it with him (v. 35). Friday, April 30. Matt. 26:36-38. The three whom Jesus took with Him now are the same whom He had taken into the Mount of Transfiguration. If He takes us up with Him into the Mount of Transfiguration, we must expect Him to take us to the Garden of Gethsemane also. Jesus, as He came closer to the agony of the cross and of all involved in the bear­ ing of man’s sin, longed for human sym­ pathy, but He did not get it. IJe trod the wine press alone. He took with Him into the deeper shadows of Gethsemane, the innermost circle of the chosen ones, Peter and James and John; but even they slept while the Saviour agonized and prayed. There is something awful to contemplate in the absolute loneliness of the Saviour. Our Lord was in a state of great mental and spiritual sorrow, “exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” It was not mere dread of the physical agony that lay a little way ahead, but His sinless spirit was beginning

(Ex. 24:7, 8), and there can be no cove­ nant betyveen a holy God and sinful man except on the ground of shed blood (Heb. 9:18-23). The blood is the life; the life must be poured out where there is sin if there is to be forgiveness (Lev. 17:11). The blood of the lambs and bullocks and goats in the Old Testament was a type #of the blood of Christ; and it is this that really avails. The blood of Christ was shed unto remission of sins (v. 28 R. V.) ; that is, the shed blood is the ground upon which God remits (or dismisses) sin (cf. Matt. 20: 28; Rom. 3:25 R. V.; 1 John 2:2; Eph. 1: 7; Col. 1:14, 20; Eph. 2:13; Heb. 13:12; Rev. 12:11; 1:5; 7:9, 14; 1 Cor. 5:7 cf. Ex. 12:13). There can be no forgiveness ex­ cept on the ground of that shed blood. There are many in this day who rebel at this doctrine so plainly taught in the Scrip­ tures. They desire a Christianity without atoning blood; they sneer at the doctrine of atonement by shed blood as a “sanguinary theology” or ' “the theology of the sham­ bles,” but a Christianity without atoning blood is a Christianity without remission of sins or peace of conscience. That last supper closed with a hymn, probably the 118th Psalm. How this fact hallows sacred song! Thursday, April 29. Matt. 26:31-35. Jesus had gone to the Mount of Olives for prayer, but He has much to say to His disciples before He prays (cf. Luke 22: 31-37; John 14:1; 17:26). He tells the disciples, “Ye shall all be made to stumble over me this night” (v. 31 see R. V. mar­ gin). This sad prediction was abundantly fulfilled: there was not a single exception in the Apostolic Company (v. 56). But they did not fall permanently. This stum­ bling of all the' disciples was according to Old Testament prophecy (v. 31 cf. Zech. 13:7). Over against His smiting and their consequent stumbling, Jesus set the fact of the resurrection and their gathering to­ gether unto Him (v. 32). Peter felt per­ fectly sure of himself, that, whatever others

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