GETHSEMANE REFLECTIONS

There was never a moment when Jesus trusted His Father more than in Gethsemane and the hours before the cross and yet He had to ask for relief to bear the suffocating weight of a killing sorrow (Matt. 26:38; Mark 14:34-36; Luke 22:41-43) and His Father gave it to him by sending an angel to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43). These texts need to be read several times, carefully—Jesus never asked for exemption from the cross (see Matt. 16:23-24; John 12.27; Acts 2:24-28; Matt.16:22-24; 20:22-23 ). Anyone who opposed His speaking about His going to the Cross was satanic. See how He rebuked Satan in the wilderness.
“My soul is greatly troubled; shall I ask My Father to deliver me from the cross?” He won’t hear tell of it. “I came into the world for this hour,” He said. “Do you know why My Father loves Me?” He asks and answers (John 10:17-18). “Because I freely go to the cross. I go there to lay down my life that I might take it again!” He goes there to kick Satan out (John 12:21) and condemn Satan’s ‘world’. His crucifixion was purposed before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20). It’s nonsense to have Jesus ask exemption from the crucifixion! Before Gethsemane He had occasion to rebuke Peter as satanic and after He had occasion to rebuke Peter for sword-wielding. “If I just asked my Father would deliver me from being crucified,” he said. “He would do it.”

There’s no possibility that He asked to be given permission to walk away from the crucifixion. The shadow of the cross stretched all the way back to before time and the Hebrew writer said He endured the cross with its shame because of the joy laid out before Him (Heb. 12:2). Ah, yes, but He was human and He was buckling with fear. Knowing who He is and what he did and how He called on others to happily lay down their lives for Him—knowing that and then having Jesus so afraid that He didn’t want to go to death is almost obscene.
He never asked His father to keep Him from the cross but He asked for help with such a depth of sorrow and distress that He his perspiration was so profuse it was falling like heavy drops of blood though the night was cold ( John 18:18).
He knew what His nation was soon to do and the unending anguish and loss was to begin in His generation and continue until now. More than a million was soon to be crushed and His offfering Himself was the catalyst that led to its destruction. He sat and sobbed (Luke 19) over the nation annd lamented in Matthew 23 as a mother hen panics over her children when danger is on them. This unfathomable love began to affect His body and He felt like he would die and He asked His Father to help Him with it if that was possible. and He was heard. (Heb. 5:7?)

Thank you Lord God for coming to us in and as Jesus of Nazareth and bleeding for us (Acts 20:28)

To be continued, d.v.

jim mcGuiggan

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About Jim McGuiggan

Jim McGuiggan was Ethel's husband for fifty-three years. They have three children and eight grandchildren. Ethel went to be with Christ on Easter Sunday, 2009 at the close of a gallant life. He has written some books including: Celebrating the Wrath of God; Heading Home with God; Life on the Ash Heap; Jesus: Hero of Thy Soul; The God of the Towel, The Scarlet Letter; and The Dragon Slayer.