There are times when we experience the great privilege of receiving new light from the Holy Spirit on a familiar scripture. On our calendars we will soon be approaching the celebration of “Easter”. Imagine how it was for Jesus approaching His challenge in the days leading up to His crucifixion. In the upper room, Judas, the betrayer, was revealed, (Luke 22). It was a very pregnant time.
Jesus was aware of the events that were about to unfold. After that very significant Last Supper with His disciples, they all accompanied Him to the mount of Olives, then entered into Gethsemane. Here was the place where Jesus left His disciples to pray, communing with His Father as He approached the hours leading up to His cruel death. Here His countenance changed. He became sorrowful unto death, the death of Himself. He called for reinforcements in His disciples, but they fell asleep and left Him alone to agonise. We have nothing to compare with the agony He experienced here, insomuch that His sweat was “as great drops of blood falling to the ground”, (Luke 7:44). He suddenly found doubt in Himself, could He go through this ordeal as the Son of Man?
Have you ever faced a circumstance and doubted that you could ever come through it? Have the clouds of the trial dimmed your view of the arm of Almighty God and His ability to carry you through? Nothing can ever compare with the ordeal Jesus went through, but as our Pattern Man, He demonstrated how we can get through our trials. In the agony at Gethsemane, we discover that Jesus was unwilling to die, unwilling to do His Father’s will. Jesus begged His Father, “If You be willing, remove this cup from Me…..” The anguish and torment of the events about to unfold caused His desperate appeal, but then, He made the most momentous choice a man has ever made. He chose to surrender His will to the will of His Father. He made a choice as the Son of Man which affected the whole of mankind. His next words are indelibly printed in the annals of history and the eternal heavens. Jesus surrendered His will in exchange for His Father’s, He made a choice to come in line with His Father’s will: “……nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done”. (Luke 22:42). Nevertheless, my will is always the lesser choice! Surrender is always key.
Hebrews 12:2 “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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. This JOY was set, like a table, the inheritance of His choice, which He entered into when He was on resurrection ground.
Can we for one moment imagine ourselves in Jesus’ place prior to His death. He knew He came to die. He tried to prepare His disciples for the event, but they just did not understand, nor understood the emotional pain Jesus endured in Gethsemane. Philippians 2: 6-8 speaking of Jesus reminds us: “Who, being in the form of God……made Himself of no reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross…” Jesus laid aside His deity, was made in the likeness of you and me, took thirty years, learning obedience as the Son of Man, for three years ministry. Hebrews 5:8 reminds us that Jesus, as the Son of Man, had to LEARN obedience, just as we must. We learn it by yielding our will, exchanging our will for the Father’s. The Son of God became the Son of Man, to teach us how to become the sons/daughters of God.
Jesus declared He came to give us abundant life. If I am not experiencing this then the fault must lie at my door. A humble request to the Holy Spirit to enlighten us with the source of the problem will lead to Father’s instruction to return to His safe pathway. God cares, and loves!
As we continue our earthly journey, when our heavenly Father brings something to us, He expects a response. He expects us to choose obedience. We do not have to go through the ordeal that Jesus physically went through, but we do have to “die daily” as the apostle Paul reminds us. The more I walk in the death of myself, (preferring others before myself, surrendering my will and choosing the Lord’s), the more the life of Jesus can come forth in me. The responsibility is mine. Jesus, the Pattern Man, demonstrated the lifestyle to walk.
True humility will produce HIS ability.
I am in God’s family and as a son/daughter, if I rebel I will be chastened of the Lord. All chastisement that comes from the Father is a loving one. Hebrews 12: 6-11 reminds us of this and that after the chastening, the peaceable fruits of righteousness are produced. A child that is always allowed his own way is a child that is not loved. A loving father does not allow his precious child to be spoilt. Every child must learn obedience.
Jesus, my Overcomer, overcame death for me and gave me resurrection life. As I die daily, Jesus my Undertaker, undertakes for me and makes me an overcomer. I experience the victory which is all His, the credit is all His, but the benefits are all mine – joy and peace in believing.
Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash