Have you ever seen great, important people in their private or vulnerable moments?
Luke 22:41 – 44
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
In today’s passage we witness a very human moment from the greatest man who ever lived. Jesus is alone, on his knees in the garden of Gethsemane, and is preparing himself for his death. As the pace of the account of Jesus slows down to take in every crucial detail, we witness this very personal, very human moment of Jesus’.
Here is Jesus, staring with dread down the barrel of
his own death. Our saviour knows what fear of death feels like for us. He
pleads with God to “take this cup away from me” (v42). His agony comes from
knowing not only is he about to die, but he is about to die bearing the
judgement and wrath of his Father God for the sins of the whole world. The
‘cup’ that Jesus wants to avoid is an Old Testament image for God’s judgement
being poured out (Ps 60:3, 75:8; Is 51:17,22 ; Jer 25:15; Ob 16; Rev
14:10)- Jesus is facing God’s anger and punishment for the sins of the whole
world! And we see how dreadful God’s punishment and wrath at sin is, by the
fact Jesus begs God to take it from him.
But, when it comes to the crunch, Jesus willingly submits his own desires to God’s. “Yet not my will, but yours be done” he prays (v42). How costly and hard that must have been to pray. Even now, in agony and fear and anguish, literally sweating because he is under such severe anxiety (v44), our faithful Saviour Jesus willingly gives up what he wants so he can obey his Father God and rescue the people he loves: us.
So here we find two sobering truths. Firstly, our sin is a huge problem to God.
Secondly, Jesus loves us, truly and deeply.
This gives wonderful assurance that God loves us and saves us. Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that after learning what Jesus went through for us, he is convinced nothing can stop God loving us. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39).
Head: Look at the agony Jesus goes through to take sin away from us! And this scene is only the beginning!
Heart: It’s been said to me that, if you want to see how horrific sin is, don’t look at yourself to see how bad you think you are, but look at what Jesus had to do to remove your sin.
Hands: So let us turn from sin in the hundred little decisions we make today, and choose to love others in our actions, even when it costs us. We’d be imitating our Saviour Jesus if we did so.
Dear Father God,
I am in awe of how truly and deeply loving you are. Thank-you that Jesus willingly died on the cross instead of me, so I can be in your family forever. I’m sorry for the sins I’ve committed that made his death necessary. Help me to hate sin and turn away from its gain and again today, and instead turn to you who loves me best and forgives me completely.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Jerusalem
Living Church – (Creek Road)