SUGGESTED SCRIPTURE READING- Mark 14:32-42
33 He took Peter, James and John along with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. 36 “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:33-36
There is so much for us to learn from this passage…how to walk With God…how to depend on Him…and how to depend on each other. Apparently Jesus took all of his disciples to the garden, a favorite spot of theirs. And then He took His inner circle with Him, deeper in the garden, before going on alone even further. He wanted them to pray with Him; for their own strength because he knew they were weak, and possibly He wanted their prayers for Himself as well. He knew only too well what lie ahead.
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Perhaps nowhere else in the New Testament do we see the humanity of Jesus so described. He was feeling extreme emotion; bewilderment, fear, and anxiety. Of course He dreaded the prospect of pain and suffering, but this paled in the light of bearing God’s wrath for the world’s sins and experiencing separation from His Father.
He prayed, “Abba”. The Jews did not use this term. They felt it disrespectful. It literally means “Daddy”, and expressed the intimate terms between the Son of God and His Father. The thought of being separated from God bore down hard on Him. Luke describes His perspiration as “drops of blood falling to the ground” Luke 22:44. This is far beyond the suffering any mere martyr has ever had to endure…this is VOLUNTARY! As the song says, “He could have called ten thousand angels”. He even makes a similar statement in Matthew’s account of the road to the cross… “Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53.
He prayed, “…everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
It bears repeating…”not what I will”.
Here is a question for us all to ponder; How do we pray? Is it a check list we go down every day to make sure we’ve covered the bases? Is it our own personal wish list? Or is it “Father, help me to want the things that You want for me; bend my will to Yours…break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
As we consider the choice Jesus made for us…the sacrifice, I know it is impossible for us to comprehend what He went through. But these were our sins He bore on the cross, and I believe as sure as I’m sitting here that if you or I were the only person who ever existed, He would have still made the same sacrifice. He loves us that much.
Easter will be here soon. You know, we get so excited at Christmas time; we all get caught up in family, gifts and the season itself…but what about Easter? Of course, there could be no Easter without Christmas, but without Easter…without the Crucifixion and Resurrection…Christmas would be meaningless.
How might we make Easter different in our hearts and in our homes this year?