As we move into the Holiday season I want to challenge us to keep the reason for the season in mind but with a twist. Instead of thinking about the babe born in a manger I want us to remember why He came down and gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free.
What a revelation I received in Christ this morning, I was reading Luke 22:39-45 where Jesus agonizes in the Garden. Jesus is really alone at this point; the apostles have been unable to really understand what is about to happen and are too busy chattering amongst themselves to listen to all the predictions and warnings that Christ is trying to give them in preparing them for what lies ahead. They were too distracted with which one of them was the greatest and so on. So at this point Jesus has decided that they need to just get on with the initial plan and he decides to turn to His father for help. He goes to the Garden to be alone and pray.
As Jesus is kneeling before God in prayer he asks “Father, if you are willing please take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Amazingly Jesus knows why and what is about to happen in the next few hours. Just then Angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. Notice how God as his father nurtures Jesus in his hour of need. Jesus then was in such anguish, prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
“Why was Jesus so anguished that he shed blood? Other men have died by crucifixion and did not shed drops of blood in anguish knowing what was to happen to them. We must ask, was he afraid of dying? Was he afraid of humility? Was he afraid of suffering torture?
Thanks to the Holy Spirit it hits me. No, to all those questions. It was when he accepted God’s will and not his own he took on all the sins of man. All the evil, all the hatred, all the bad acts that have been and will be committed to himself and His body revolted against it. He truly felt the sins of the world in that moment and it is why he sweated drops of blood. He humbly gave his life so that we may have everlasting life! How humbling it is to know that our savior was covering our sins even at that particular moment in the garden. He could have escaped it all if he had wanted to.
Now I don’t know about you but I always thought it was because Jesus knew what was going to happen to him and he knew why but I never realized the Spiritual anguish of that moment in the garden. I simply sat there and cried; the awfulness that he endured not only on the cross but also in the garden. So the next time we take the cup (His Blood) and break bread (His body) for communion remember how sacred the two elements are and hold them in your heart as you pray.
With these words I say “AMEN”