Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let This Cup Pass From Me

"You know, Dad, I really don't want to do this whole suffering thing.  Don't you suppose I could get out of it?  It'll hurt.  I'll die.  I don't want to.  But if You really really really want Me to do it, okay.  Fine.  I guess I will.  If I have to."

Is that what we think Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was?  If it were me (that is, me at my absolute best) then maybe that's what I'd mean by "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.  Nevertheless, not what I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26).

But Jesus wanted to die for us.  His love compelled Him.  He did not go to His suffering unwillingly.  "A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth, the guilt of all men bearing." 

What He didn't want was to be separated from His Father.  He is the true Man, the man Adam failed to be.  Man's life is from God, and the worst thing that happens to man is to be separated from Him.  Adam, who was in communion with God, willingly chose to turn away from Him.  Jesus, who (more than anyone) had the right to be one with the Father, willed to not be separated from Him.  But His will and the Father's will were one, and Jesus willed to saved.

So when we hear next week, "Ohhh ... I don't really want to do this," we need to remember.  It's not "I don't want to suffer."  It's not that our Savior is suddenly having a fit of me-first that He's struggling to overcome.  It's "I don't want to be separated from You."

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