How often do we think on the depth of Christ's amazing love for us? What did that Love do for us? Do we really understand the sacrifice in that ultimate act of faithfulness? What does our love, for Him or for others, look like?
Well, I have an answer for that last question : puny and pitiful.
On Thursday evening, our church held a Maundy Thursday service. Our speaker shared with us a few points regarding the scene in the Garden on the night Jesus was betrayed.
John 13:1 tells us that :
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
After the disciples had witnessed His love to them at the Passover feast, they went with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. Had they realized what He'd just shown them?
Jesus asked them simply to watch and pray. They couldn't do this. They fell asleep. Did those disciples sense the urgency of His quiet request?
What does Gethsemane describe for us?
- Jesus' crushing sorrow : He was being separated from His Father. The Trinity, an indivisible Union, had never been separated in all eternity. This point marked a pivot in the 'history of eternity.' Christ chose to endure this.... for us!
- Jesus' humble submission : He was heard because of His reverence to His Father. "...for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." (John 8:29) "For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38) Christ is the path to the Father....our Father.
- Jesus' unwavering concern : Even in His darkest hour, Jesus is concerned for His disciple. He demonstrates His faithful shepherding, concern for their temptation. "Watch and pray," He speaks to them, taking the time to disciple His disciples.
- Jesus' strength and resolve : Standing in our place, He moves toward His captors, moving forward toward His death, pushing things along. He set His face like flint. (Isaiah 50:1-10) His time had come. Gethsemane is the Holy of Holies of Christ in His time on earth.
A holy God demands that perfect justice be paid for our sin. His Son steps in, sorrowful, humble, concerned and resolved to take our place. He endures unmitigated wrath as punishment for our crimes. He lays down His life for those He loves.
What ought to be our response?