Two words. He. Arose…I could stop there, but I won’t…At the Maundy Thursday service I attended a few days ago, each person was given a scripture to read as a part of the service…
Below is the scripture that I read:
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, Sit here while I pray. 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, he said to them. Stay here and keep watch. 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Simon, he said to Peter, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
I have been meditating on these scriptures since then, and I think I know what the Lord is saying to me through these verses, and what I think is confirmed by another translation of the same scriptures. The first version is the New International Version of scripture, and the second version is the Contemporary English Version.
32Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he told them, “Sit here while I pray.” 33Jesus took along Peter, James, and John. He was sad and troubled and 34told them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.” 35-36Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt down on the ground and prayed, “Father, [a] if it is possible, don’t let this happen to me! Father, you can do anything. Don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. [b] But do what you want, and not what I want.” 37When Jesus came back and found the disciples sleeping, he said to Simon Peter, “Are you asleep? Can’t you stay awake for just one hour? 38Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.” 39Jesus went back and prayed the same prayer. 40But when he returned to the disciples, he found them sleeping again. They simply could not keep their eyes open, and they did not know what to say. 41When Jesus returned to the disciples the third time, he said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? [c] Enough of that! The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners.
Although Jesus Christ knew that He came to Earth to die for our sins, He clearly did not look forward to this ultimate sacrifice. And so He prayed that He would not have to die in the Garden of Gethsemane before the crucifixion. He accurately told the Father that God could remove our sin without Jesus having to lay down his life as God is all powerful. I think Jesus wanted His disciples to petition the Father on His behalf…He asked them three times to pray…Yet they failed Him each time. Instead they chose to sleep. After His third request, I believe Jesus knew what the Lord absolutely required…something supernatural would have to supersede the natural because the natural wasn’t going to cut it.
I know I can apply this scripture to my life. I think sacrifice is a requirement in the life of a Christian. We may not be required to die on the cross, but we do have a cross to bear – that cross may be different for each person. And who wants to bear a cross…We may pray and ask several people to pray that we don’t have to bear that cross, but in the end, we realize that there is no way to it- unless you go through it…That’s a hard pill to swallow…As I type this post, I know there is something I must sacrifice, but I would rather not…What in your life is God asking you to sacrifice that you rather not… As I ponder on my current cross, I just have to sigh….Thank God, when I’m ready to do my part, I can ask God to supersede the natural and help me….Yes, I fall down…a lot…but thanks be to God, He Got Up and eventually I will too…
Anyway, it’s something to ponder on this blessed Easter Sunday!!!