Do you ever look back at life and identify defining moments? Maybe the moment you decided to get married, change jobs, go to school, move to a new city or country. We all have them. Sometimes they can be moments when we realize we are at a fork in the road and must decide. There are also defining moments that we only realize in hindsight.
The moment when Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray is a monumental defining moment. First, what a moment of transparency! Jesus seems to be saying, in my translation, “If it’s okay with you, I would really like this plan to change. But not what I want. What do you want?” Words on paper do not carry the weight of the emotions here.
A hint of the struggle Jesus is experiencing is revealed by the arrival of an angel to strengthen Jesus and the physical trauma is described as “sweat like drops of blood.” The only other time that an angel arrived to strengthen Jesus was at the end of his 40-day fast and temptation (Matthew 4:11).
This defining moment is in stark contrast to a popular mindset that ties feelings to decisions about God’s will. Jesus acknowledged that if he could have had his way he would not have chosen to go to the cross. In fact, the struggle to make the decision, “Not my will, but yours be done,” took a huge spiritual and physical toll on him. This was truly a defining moment, not only for Jesus, but for all of Christianity!
Jesus, thank you for your willingness to put your Father’s will above your desires and emotions, releasing your desires and embracing God’s plan. This led to a cruel, painful and humiliating death on a cross, but you did it for me. Your death on the cross has shown me the extent of God’s love and forgiveness that has transformed my life! THANK YOU! Amen.
Throughout This Day: Ponder this question: Do I really believe God in his love and wisdom has the best plan for me? Is there an area in life where I need to surrender, to say to God, “I really want (don’t want) this, but not my will, yours be done?”
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