It is the beginning of the end

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.**On reaching the place, he said to them, ”Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” ~ Luke 22:39-42

It is the beginning of the end. The forces of evil are assembling to take out Jesus. To have him crucified on a cross, a tree. Jesus knows his time on earth is limited. The plan of redemption, the plan put in place before the foundation of the world is moving ahead. This plan would be brutal. Roman crucifixion is one of the most grueling ways to die. Jesus is so very aware of its brutality.  He goes to the garden to pray. He petitions the father, “if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.“ It is so interesting to note that even though this plan has been in place for thousands of years, in place even before God spoke the first words of creation, Jesus is asking if there is another way. And yet we must note that he submits to the plan. He accepts the will of the Father.

 One author once said, that in the hard thing there is the holy thing. This statement perfectly describes the gruesome reality of the cross. It is hard – difficult. That is an incredible understatement. Yet, the author of Hebrews writes, “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I find great irony in the words, “For the joy set before him…“ There is no joy in the cross, only heartache, sorrow, punishment. The joy is evident in what it accomplishes. Redemption. Salvation. Restoration.

There are times God puts something hard in front of us. The difficulty is overwhelming. It looks almost impossible. But in the hard task is something holy. In the hard task is a God moment, a God outcome. There is a joy in that. There is a God honoring celebration in that act of obedience.

Lord Jesus, I come to you. I ask for courage. Wisdom. And insight when I face the hard task, the impossible task that I see how you are in it. In Jesus name amen.