This Day in History: 0000-04-18

April 18 – Mark 14: 32-36

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.”  He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.  He told them, 
“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.”  
He went on a little further and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass him by.  
“Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Do you ever feel like the path God has asked you to walk is more than you can handle?  Do you ever know exactly what He’s asking you to do but feel utterly powerless to see it through?  Would you feel comforted to know that Jesus, the PERFECT One felt the same way?  He understands your pain my friend!

As the reality of the cross loomed before Him; as He anticipated those wretched moments when the sin He would bear would separate Him from His beloved Father, His soul was crushed with grief.  To the point of death!  Luke 22:44 says that, “He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

I know there is no trial I face, no task God sets before me that compares to what Jesus endured on the cross.  Not even close.  But I do know what it is to dread the task at hand to the point that my body responds by over-producing adrenaline, igniting a chemical response that we now call a panic attack.  What the Bible describes here is even more physiologically intense than that! Hematohidrosis (sweating blood) is an actual condition that occurs in situations in which a person experiences overwhelming fear or extreme stress.

While my heart breaks for my Lord and Savior, knowing that it was my sin that caused Him such agonizing grief, I am also quite comforted to know that He understands how difficult it can be to walk in obedience to God’s plan.  Let’s examine the four things He did in response to His fear and try to follow His perfect example!

1) He got alone and prayed, speaking intimately to His Abba, Father. – Let’s find a quiet corner of the house right now and crawl up into the lap of our loving Father. Knowing we are His beloved children, let’s pour out our hearts to Him.

2) He fell to the ground in humility and asked for what He wanted. – Let’s fall on our faces before the throne of our gracious God, understanding that He is God and we are not.  With our faces to the ground, let’s speak honestly to our King and tell Him about our worries and fears.  Let’s humbly ask Him to rescue us.  To change the circumstances and provide an easier way.

3) He acknowledged who God was and that He had the power to do anything. He appealed once more to that power, asking again for what He wanted. – Let’s acknowledge the mighty power of our God today.  Let’s praise Him for His countless attributes and remind Him of His many promises.  As we do, let’s ask once more that He ease our suffering.

4) He submitted Himself to the will of God. – This is the tough part isn’t it?  Since we know Jesus was perfect, and Scripture records the fact that He asked the Father to change the plan, we can know there isn’t anything wrong with such a request.  Provided, of course, that we ultimately submit to His will despite our desires that it change.  We must examine our hearts. In light of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, being obedient even to death, are we willing to do the same?  Are we ready to sacrifice our temporal comfort for eternal rewards?  Let’s earnestly say to our loving Father, “Not my will, but Your’s be done!”