READ: Matthew 26:36-46
Knowing that He was moments away from the cross, Jesus made His way to the garden called Gethsemane, where He and His disciples often retreated to. Jesus’ heart was heavy with sorrow, so Jesus did what He often did throughout His life on earth: He got alone to spend time with His Father in prayer. In the garden, He wrestled within Himself about the will of God and the purpose for which He came to earth. Luke records that Jesus’ anguish was so deep that He sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:43). This garden, located on the Mount of Olives, was the place where the beginning of a great victory would take place.
Jesus’ authentic relationship with the Father came through when He prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus knew that He was about to be tortured and nailed to the cross, but this was only a part of what Jesus was referring to when He agonized over the cup that He was about to drink from.
In the Old Testament, the cup was a powerful picture of the wrath and judgement of God. Jesus poured His heart out to the Father because He knew that He would soon experience God’s wrath and judgement by becoming the sin of the world.
What is so amazing is that Jesus wrestled with surrender. His holiness brought Him to the point of making the right choice. It was His holiness and perfection that motivated Jesus to love His Father perfectly by obeying and pleasing the Father.
It was also because of His holiness that Jesus felt great concern and despair because the One who was holy had to experience what it meant to become sin and to experience the judgement of God because of sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). This holy Son of God never knew sin; He never had to face the consequences of sin, which is death.
What is even most amazing is that Jesus fully surrendered to the will of God, no matter what. Before Jesus died on the cross for your sins, He died to Himself in the garden. Adam and Eve surrendered their lives to sin in the Garden of Eden, but the Second Adam, Jesus, surrendered fully to God and defeated sin in the Garden of Gethsemane.
If Jesus made a decision in the garden of Gethsemane to walk away and forget going to the cross, He would not have to experience anything personally from making that decision. But you and I would have faced the consequences if He had not surrendered fully to the Father. Jesus knowing that, and loving you so much, He surrendered to the Father’s will. The obedience to the Father’s will proved to be a wonderful decision that would result in you experiencing eternal and abundant life.
Are you fully surrendered to God? What are you missing out on by living the way you want to live instead of coming to God and saying, “All that I am and all that I have are yours.” Jesus promises a life of freedom and abundance, but you must first die to self and fully surrender to the good, acceptable, perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2). Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor” (John 12:24-26).
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