He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” 26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it.
One of the most profound moments in Jesus life comes right at the end of his journey towards the cross. He is sitting down for a meal with his friends and has just informed them that he will be betrayed unto death by these very friends. Some will outright betray him, others will deny him and the rest will flee from him.
It was a fairly hopeless situation by all accounts.
Yet, at the end of this discussion, Jesus takes a cup of wine and give thanks. In the midst of the greatest trial of his life Jesus’ response was gratitude to the Father.
Thanksgiving is about recognizing the goodness and sovereignty of a glorious God in our lives. Our thanksgiving is not a response to our circumstances but a response to love of the Father. We choose thanksgiving as a response to the faithfulness of God. It is a choice that must be made every day, to set our praise on him. Rather than praising out of response to our situations we praise out of response to the glory of Jesus.
We can certainly be thankful for blessings and the things in our lives – I am abundantly grateful for my wife, my daughter, our church and the incredible people that are a part of it. However, these things do not define the extent of my thanksgiving, they merely serve as a reminder of the gracious goodness of our God. A goodness that remains no matter the situation.
Today on the morning of our major fundraising gala, a critical strategic component in the life of LIFT Church, we start be praising. We praise and say thanks out of a response, first and foremost, to who God is.
Our hope is not in a situation, it is not in resources, it’s not even in people. Our hope is and always will be on the rock that will never move, the hope of humanity, the joy of our salvation: Jesus.
Can we declare the words of Psalm 100 today?
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.