Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crucifixion from Jesus' Perspective

This week in the "Perspectives" series we took a look at Jesus. I know what you're thinking, "how could you ever completely grasp everything about the crucifixion from Jesus' perspective?" Well you can't and we only covered a portion of what took place in the Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus was arrested.

Every day we are faced with things that we must complete or are expected of us. Work, school, home life, hobbies, etc. We're all involved in many areas, doing some things by choice but some things are required. When we are required to do something I think we have three choices in how we will go about it: 1) We can be ok doing it and so we do it gladly; 2) We don't want to do it but we do it anyway but complain the entire time; or 3) We don't want to do it and so we don't. I believe everyday we have a choice to make on how we will carry ourselves when performing anything.

We focused on Matthew 26:36-42 when Jesus goes out to pray in the garden. Jesus says in verse 38 that His "soul is deeply grieved." Luke 22:44 even pays attention to the detail that Jesus sweated blood. This is a phenomenon called hematidrosis where someone suffers from such deep stress that their sweat glands hemorrhage causing them to sweat blood. Think about times in your life when you thought you couldn't be any more stressed out but you probably weren't stressed enough to sweat blood. Jesus was grieved and stressed because he knew he was about to endure physical pain unlike any we can imagine, he would be carrying the sins of all mankind, and God would have to turn his face away because He wouldn't be able to look at all that sin.

Jesus refers to a "cup" in verse 39. This is a symbol of God's wrath against sin used in the Old Testament (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Psalms, etc.). Jesus states here in and verse 42 that He desires God's will to be done. Jesus never said that He didn't want to do it. He stated that if it is possible for the cup to pass then that would be good, but He also said that He wanted God's will to be done even if it meant He had to endure this death. The thing that I've been humbled about and was lead to this is because of the fact that Jesus never complained. He didn't say He didn't want to do it, or that it would be too hard, or that He was too tired, or could someone else do it for Him. No, He knew that this is what God sent Him to earth to accomplish and He also knew that God's will is best. He didn't complain one time.

I've been so burdened recently about how we can complain about serving God when it doesn't meet our desires, expectations, or simply be something we want to do. It's so hard for me to see apathy in people who are caught in "doing religion" instead of having a genuine relationship with God and seeking to serve Him however He would lead them. It breaks my heart when students whine about prayer walking being too early for them to get out of bed but will gladly get up early to do something that they want to do. I say all of this to ask you to examine yourself. Ask God to examine your heart and see if you are serving Him willingly. Or do you complain when it comes to doing something for God. Jesus never once complained as He was about to carry the burden of your sin, and the sin of everyone else. He never complained.

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