Humility to the Perfect Will of God

April 11, 2022

After celebrating Passover with His disciples Jesus took them to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. His prayer raises an important question for us to consider. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup of suffering from me! Yet not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).” What do you suppose Jesus was praying about? Was Jesus uncertain of God’s will? Was He scared?

I think his struggle was over whether his death, at this point in his preaching mission, would accomplish God’s plan. Would his death at this time reveal the very eternal truth that the gospel of love is more powerful than all the powers of evil and hell? He wasn’t going to lay down his life for another person, but for every person. Was this the time? Had he healed enough, taught enough, loved enough? If he chose to suffer and die for everyone, would anyone understand?

It is understandable that He should wonder if His disciples were ready. Judas had gone to betray Him. The rest were sleeping instead of praying. Peter would deny Him. The rest would abandon Him. How could this rag-tag group of clueless disciples take the Good News of the Gospel to the world?

He got the answer He needed to His prayers even while the disciples slept. He left the garden of Gethsemane strengthened by prayer to let God’s will be done, as he never lifted a finger in his own defense. He would let them stage their sham trial, fight over what to do with Him, and then let them torture and kill Him. The creator of the universe allowed His creation to kill Him so that He could die for our sins and our salvation.

Betrayal, denial, and rejection are surely the most painful emotional experiences a person can have. When we experience such things it can shake us to our very foundations of what we believe about life. Jesus experienced all of these by His closest friends, and then endured the torture of the Roman cross.

I remind you, with measured words, what He experienced. They made Him carry His own cross, perhaps 300 pounds from Jerusalem to the top of the hill called Golgotha (Place of the Skull). He was stripped of His clothes so the rough wood of the cross would constantly tear the flesh, which was already torn to shreds from the flogging he received before He was sentenced to die. The nails were driven into His wrists with His arms outstretched so His shoulders would be pulled out of their sockets, the weight of His body causing unbearable pain with every breath. The nails in His feet would allow Him to stand and breath and take the pain off His shoulders so that He could live with the pain of His lungs and heart being filled with His bodily fluids for a longer period of time. The exposure of the Middle Eastern heat would cause dehydration quickly. Jesus probably died of drowning, his bodily fluids filling up His lungs. Jesus was spared because He died in six hours. Some endured the pain for as long as four days.

Do you think it was that nails that held Jesus on the cross? The man who could feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes. He could heal lepers, the blind, the lame, the deaf, and raise people from the dead. He calmed the sea, walked on the water, and preached with the authority of God. It was definitely not the nails that held Jesus on the cross. Only one thing could hold Jesus on the cross: LOVE. His love for everyone of us. The key to understanding what happened on the cross is to realize that as Jesus suffered and died He was voluntarily taking upon Himself the punishment that was rightfully due to you, me, and everybody else as a result of our sin. Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:3, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…"

Take a moment to reflect upon this act of utter humility that the creator of the universe allowed His creation to torture and kill Him. What impresses you most about such humility? Does Jesus Christ’s humility move you to a faith/a deeper faith? Is there something you can do to remember Christ’s acts on Good Friday, dying for your sins and salvation that will make your Easter more meaningful? May you have a meaningful Easter celebration.