Friday, April 18, 2014

(photo credit: Waiting For The Word via photopin cc)

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Luke 22:42

It's hard to even begin to imagine what it must have been like the night before Jesus' crucifixion. Knowing the road before Him and what it was He would have to endure must have been terrifying. The Scriptures give us a glimpse of what He went through that night saying that He sweat drops of blood whilst praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

The photo above shows a rather serene looking Jesus praying to God in the garden, but how I see see it my mind is strikingly different. I see our Savior sweating drops of blood, prostrate on His face, pleading with His father that He does not have to be separated from Him for a period of time. I see Jesus in pure agony through the pain He is about to endure; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual pain that you nor I could ever begin to imagine. Yet despite all this Jesus endured the shame and public humiliation to save you and I. He carried the cross, was crucified dead and buried for our eternal salvation. Out of His death came life. Jesus chose to carry out His Father's will and gained an untold amount of souls for eternity.

I have a rather strong will. It's often hard for me to fully surrender my will to God and allow Him to do His will in my life. God is still working with me on this very thing. Jesus had a will too. We can clearly see this when He prayed "not my will by your will be done." 

I once heard someone liken our own wills to that of an untrained horse. All that power, strength and agility is just waiting to be harnessed. But without breaking in that horse, none of the power that horse has within will ever be useful to it's master. It cannot perform at it's peak unless broken. Only when the horse it broken and trained, and it's will one with it's master, can the horse ever become useful at completing the tasks before it. Once I heard this illustration given though, a light bulb went off in my mind.

The same holds true for us. We have a will and we have the freedom to roam about and do whatever we want. As a friend of mine pointed out to me recently though, God does not want us to be wandering Israelites with no goal in sight. Our wills must be broken. This doesn't mean we don't make decisions or use our will at all. It merely means we must daily align our will to God's and, if need be, surrender it completely just as Jesus did before He was crucified. 

I don't know if we will ever do this perfectly, like Jesus did, on this side of eternity. Perhaps some people do. I do know that Jesus will continue to mature us, challenge us and show us the way in which we are to walk. After all, we not only remember Jesus' death and burial, we also celebrate the truth that He is Risen. It's precisely because He lives that we can daily align ourselves with God's will and surrender ourselves to His greater purposes.

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