Today marks the beginning of what most call Holy Week. I believe it's a great time to reflect on what Jesus did for us. How grave the sacrifice. How seriously He took fulfilling His purpose according to the Father's will. I'm taken aback when I think about His arrival on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem. It is marked in the Bible as a triumphal entry. The people praised Him & sang Hosanna in the Highest! They believed He was there to become their King. The King of the Jews! What they missed was that He didn't come to be their earthly King but to join us all back together with God, to be our Heavenly King. What they didn't understand was that God has a plan that far outweighs what our human minds can wrap around. He sent His Son-the perfect lamb to bear the entire weight of humanity's sin & all they could think about is what they would gain from His arrival. The moment He rode in on the back of a donkey was the beginning of what Jesus already knew was His end on this earth. He knew that the very ones who praised Him would turn on Him when they realized He wasn't there to fulfill the purpose they so desired. What makes me even sadder is that I've been that person too. When things didn't work out the way I expected I questioned God's love for me. When unexpected hardships came & God didn't answer the way I prayed I've gotten a little jaded about His perfect will in my life. We've all had our part at some point in praising God when it's good but turning away when it's not what we anticipated. Lord, forgive us.
For me the most powerful of all the scriptures is Mark 14:32-38, while Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. I imagine what it looked like for Him to be very distressed and troubled. Frankly, it makes me sick. Jesus says His soul was deeply grieved to the point of death and requested His disciples(those closest to Him) to stay by His side and keep watch. I imagine what it must of felt like to know what horror He would experience by way of the Cross. Luke records it like this "And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:44 NASB). Think of how horrific He must have felt to literally sweat blood. Then to come from praying multiple times to check on your friends just to find each time they repeatedly fell asleep. Never realizing what was to come, He wanted them to pray & warned them to wake up! To be on guard least they be tempted. I imagine Him falling to His knees, in prayer to His Father, alone. With no support, forced to face this alone, just He & God. Friends, Jesus was God in flesh. He felt emotion just like we do so that He could identify with every bit of the reality of what we face in this life. With that being said I believe He was scared. He knew what was coming & He even prayed Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me.~Mark 14:36 A heart-felt, fervent appeal to His beloved Father. And just like the obedient son He was Jesus immediately, no matter how distressing the situation, guaranteed His obedience. This has served as such a reminder over the years for me. That obedience, if done the way Jesus did, is accomplished by choosing God's way over our own. Not because of our comforts but because of our devotion to God. To His will, His power, His glory. So today I encourage you to look deeply into the story leading up to the Crucifixion of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Learn what exactly He walked through. Find out who Jesus was & discover now who He is in your life. We were on His mind when He went to the Cross. He knew His blood was required to give us our inheritance. We didn't deserve it but He did it anyway. That's worth praising God about when all else seems to have gone wrong. He carried the weight of my sin, your sin and did it from a heart that desired to please His Father more than to satisfy His flesh...let this be said of us too.
With thoughts of Him,
32 They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He *took with Him Peter and [a]James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might [b]pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”~Mark 14:32-38