Summary: Jesus Christ fought many battles for us and He still does today. What sacrifice would you make to show your appreciation and dedication to living the life He would have us live?
This past week, as I often do, I watched a couple of movies portraying the Life of Christ. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I watch these; I always get something from them. Something that touches my heart and reminds me of whom I belong to.
Yesterday, I happened to find a clip from “The Passion of The Christ.” It was one where our Lord was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying to His Father in Heaven that “this cup might be taken from me.”
Jesus knew of His fate; He knew He would be mocked, beaten, tortured and eventually killed. He also knew this was what His purpose was on Earth but, as a man, was frightened of His fate.
Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
He knew it wasn’t His choice to make but His Father in Heaven’s will that had to be done to fulfill the prophecies.
Jesus was Abandoned
I watched this clip and it reminded me of how abandoned and alone He must have felt that evening.
Judas, one of the twelve, had betrayed Him and given Him up for 30 pieces of silver.
Three times He went into the Garden to pray and, three times He returned to his Apostles sleeping.
The last time…
Matthew 26:45 – “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.’”
…and after He had been taken in by the crowd
Mark 14:50 – “Then everyone deserted him and fled.”
Peter denied Him!
Luke 22:59-60 – “And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, ‘Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.”
After all this had taken place, they led Jesus away, completely alone, to have him falsely proclaimed guilty of blaspheme; beaten and put to death.
Why did He Die?
Reading our Bible; watching these types of portrayals; or just listening to our Pastors speak of the incredible sacrifice He made, one would have to ask oneself, why?
Why did Jesus sacrifice Himself in the manner He did? We’ve heard of all the miracles He performed: healing the sick; giving sight to the blind; hearing to the deaf; and even raising of the dead.
Matthew 26:53 – “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”
Perhaps even easier than that, He could have simply denied He was not anything at all what they were accusing Him of… but He didn’t, because He knew of the prophecy He was to fulfill.
Isaiah 53:4-5 – “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Jesus did exactly what His Father had intended for Him… He sacrificed His own life, that we would be cleansed; healed; and forgiven our sins.
What You Do?
So, in knowing all these things I ask the question: “Are you abandoning Christ?” …and when I say “abandoning,” I mean ignoring what He has done; the sacrifice He has made; the lessons He has taught us and how we’re supposed to be living?
If Jesus were here today, would you fight for Him or would you do as the Apostles did and turn your back and run? The way we live our lives today, and how we treat others around us, would answer that question.
For all that He has done for you, would you fight for HIM?! Are you representing HIS WAY and HIS LOVE the way He represented the Love of His Father to us?!
I'd like to share a little story I found that will give you some idea of what it's really like to "Wrestle for Jesus."
The Forty Wrestlers
In the days of Nero, the Emperor of Rome, there was a band of elite soldiers known as the “The Emperor’s Wrestlers.” These 40 men were the best athletes in the Roman Amphitheater, and the bravest soldiers in all of the Roman army. They wrestled for the Emperor against all who challenged them.
Before each contest they would stand before the Emperor’s throne and cry out, “Forty wrestlers, wrestling for thee, O Emperor, to win for thee the victory and from thee the victor’s crown.”