“Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.””
Matthew 26:38-39 NKJV
He went anyway
This is the week that I reflect on all that has transpired in my life over the years since I said yes to Jesus. Far beyond my own surrender to faith in Christ, I think of the long walk of Jesus to the cross. His walk began before the foundation of the earth, when His wayward creation, disobeyed, and fell to temptation.
Before our sin, Jesus knew glory with the Father, as the hands of creation. He faced the loss of that glory, laying it aside to come to earth to live as one of us. Jesus was ordained to go, even before the Fall.
Being in all manner God, the fullness of the Godhead bodily, therefore fully omniscient, and knowing the sinful heart of man, He went anyway.
He entered this world in the lowest of castes, the poorest of the poor, the humblest of the humble, bringing eternity to earth. The Creator came on a rescue mission to save the creation. He was not received, being rejected instead.
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Isaiah 53:3 NKJV
He went anyway.
Jesus ministered for three and a half years, sharing the heart of the Father with all who would hear. The ones who should have known Him, hated Him, for He threatened their power and the traditions that secured their positions.
Every step of the way He was met with opposition, being attacked and insulted time and time again.
But, He went anyway.
Though Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead, they refused to see truth of who He was, and accused Him of being the devil. Jesus grieved over them, praying for them, relentlessly bringing the message of the Good News. Even though rejected, He spared nothing to reconcile them with Himself.
““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ””
Matthew 23:37-39 NKJV
But, He went anyway.
I think of Jesus, taking each closing step to that moment when He would be nailed to the cross, and the sin of humanity would be placed open Him. I think of the separation from the Father, a separation we mortals cannot fathom, as our sin separated the Godhead.
He was betrayed, rejected and doubted. As the stress of the moment weighed upon Him, Jesus ran to the Father.
He prayed in the garden for He knew what was to come. He was on mission from the Father, but the human in Him struggled. In His submission, we are given a forerunner in obedience. We know that He prayed, but we often do consider the reality that Jesus was heard.
“who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7-8 NKJV
Years ago I heard a sermon by Rick Amato where he cited the passage in Hebrews. Being a baby Christian, it caused me to fall in love with Jesus, for I came to understand what He had done for me. He had called out to the Father for the cup to be taken away, but He obeyed and went to the cross for sinners.
He went anyway.
Brothers and sisters, let us fall madly in love with our Savior Jesus, for He was willing to suffer all things that we have salvation. I stand as one who has been transformed by the grace of God, for He has worked in me, refining me, that I be made more like Jesus. I could never imagine giving all for another, but God did so for us.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
Romans 5:6-9 NKJV
None of us is good, and all of us on our own is worthy only of hell, but through Jesus, who took the long walk through what would be Holy Week so long ago, we have been spared the wrath to come. We who have spiritual eyes are able to see what the Lord is doing, and we know that it will not be long.
Glorify the One who faced all that we will, but went anyway. May we be people who, in the face of persecution, go and tell of the great message of the Gospel. Though we may perish, may we be faithful. May it be said of us in the great summing up of eternity:
They went anyway.
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