Summary: Understanding our Calling
I’d like you to think of the following scene: Jesus is on his knees in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. The hour of his impending arrest, trial and death has finally arrived. He has about an hour before Judas betrays him and sets everything in motion. Jesus is feeling the weight of betrayal, the impending abandonment and denial from his own disciples.
Jesus spent the last three years of his life pouring into these guys. He shared his life, his wisdom and his experience with them. There’s a load of mental anguish going on here. So Christ is in desperate praying, calling out to the Father. Three times he calls out asking the Father to remove this cup he must drink.
For me, this portion of Scripture (Matthew 26:36-46) is where I find the humanity of Christ exposed in its rawest form. This, for me, is one of those “Wow” moments in Scripture. It’s one of those Scriptures that reveal a weakness in Christ, his humanity shining through. This is where many have wrestled with the idea of Jesus fighting with the potential outcome of his life, namely, his crucifixion.
While I ask those questions, Jesus’ struggle in the garden was a learning experience for him. Jesus was learning a deeper level of obedience and submission to the will of God. Earlier in his life, Jesus told the disciple that he knew his purpose on this earth was to give his life away for the ransom of many. (Mark 10:45) Even though he knew the outcome, he carried on with the mission, loving others so he might reshape the world.
If we return to the scene in the garden, we learn that Christ not only asked the Father to remove the cup he must bear but in that same breath, he whispered, let Your will be done, not mine! Jesus wanted to glorify his Father! That was his passion, that was his desire and that what he was sought after. He allowed his disciples to be close to him so they could hear him speak these words, your will be done in my life, not my own will. Crucifixion was inevitable. Crucifixion was the only way for the Father to be gloried. The crucifixion was the only way for humanity to escape, through Christ’s death, and sin to face defeat.
Christ rested in the strength his Father provided. Christ obeyed, trusted and knew his life was in the hands of his Father. Jesus loved and glorified the Father through his obedience. Jesus overcame his weakness by resting in the Father’s provided strength. He overcame by surrendering his life. Surrender to God is where true victory is found. Christ humbled himself before the Father and the Father lifted him up. Jesus kept his cool; Jesus kept his focus through love, obedience, and surrender.
I have taken the CPR course 3 times. In theory, I know how to perform CPR on a person. However I have never actually put it into practice. Just as Jesus became obedient, he knew all the ways to be obedient, but he had to go through life struggles and pain to experience how to be obedient. Jesus came to experience every hurt and struggle that we will ever go through and he came to perform CPR on our souls. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes of Jesus, the author and perfected of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus came in and changed the world around him by his love. He reshaped the world, he reshaped the culture, and he reshaped the life people were living. For so long, the religious leaders were calling out to people to live as they lived. These leaders were all about good deeds and showing the world what a believer should look like. Jesus came in with a new attitude and reshaped the thought process people had.
No longer was God distant but close. No longer was God seen as a God of wrath but as the God of grace and mercy. God who had been painted as angry with his creation is now seen as the one pursuing the lost and the broken with relentless love. Jesus came to reveal the heart of God. His obedience was vital to the reflection of God’s heart and the perspective people had on his character.
How much better off would we be if we could simply step into the reality that God loves us with a relentless love and His plan and purpose for us is made complete in our obedience. Evangelism exists because of Christ’s obedience. Without the cross, sin remains. With the cross, sin is beaten. Without the cross, our chains remained locked. With the cross, our chains are broken. Without the cross, our lives remain stagnant; with the cross, redemption has come to those who have placed their belief in Christ. Jesus’ perfect life is our sanctification.