Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the Garden

Jesus and the disciples arrived at the Garden late at night. Jesus wanted to talk to his Father, something he did regularly, usually by himself.

Tonight was different, he wanted his friends to be there with him during this difficult time. He asked them to stay awake with him and pray. Jesus went away by himself and began pouring his spirit out to God. The scriptures describe a man in such agony that his sweat actually looked like drops of blood. This is actually a real medical condition called hematidrosis, usually found in people who are undergoing extreme stress and psychological strain. Jesus certainly fit this description.

All of Jesus' life had led to this moment. Every miracle, every healing, every teaching, every prophecy...everything came down to this critical decision. Jesus knew his purpose. It was his mission to take all of the sins and ugliness of humanity on himself. He was to bear the burden. He was to take the punishment.

And he didn't want to do it.

Jesus pleaded with the Father to find another method of salvation. The unspoken answer: "There is no other way." Jesus relented to the will of his Father. Humility and trust paved the way to our freedom. The wrath of God would soon be on him, and God would look at us as sinless because of his punishment. As Isaiah said, we are healed because of his wounds.

The Father was waiting to pour out the cup of sin and suffering on his own Son. The final incarnation was waiting to take place. The final spotless lamb had been prepared for sacrifice.

Jesus was the lamb.

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