Before Easter, before the good news of the resurrection, Jesus had a very difficult job to do. First he asked His Father for a break. He requested, he begged, he prayed and sweated and asked that the Father wouldn’t require the Son to do the job set out for Him. He asked in the most urgent terms that “this cup might pass from him.” It may be true that you prayed as urgently that your child might not die. You could have requested healing, begged for life, prayed and sweated and cried that your child might live and not die. If your child was sick and declining, you had time for these prayers. If you received an emergency phone call in the middle of the night, you still may have prayed “NO! NO! Please NO!” It is the same urgent prayer.
Does it help you to know the Jesus has been through the same experience that you have been through? It helps me. It reinforces the thought that He knows my human experience of life in this fallen world. When I pray now, He knows what it’s like. He knows the urgency. He knows the pain and sorrow of facing a great loss or a great threat to life. He knows the pain of not being able to reconcile our knowledge of God’s goodness with events. He knows.
The thing that Jesus did, that’s so hard for any human, is he yielded. He yielded to God’s purpose even though it would hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A Wayne Watson song, “Home Free,” expresses this very well:
…Good people underneath the sea of grief Some get up and walk away Some will find ultimate relief
Out in the corridors we pray for life A mother for her baby, A husband for his wife …And while we pray for one more heartbeat The real comfort is with you
You know pain has little mercy And suffering's no respecter of age, of race or position I know every prayer gets answered But the hardest one to pray is slow to come Oh Lord, not mine, but Your will be done
Let it be... Home Free, eventually At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Not my will, but yours is a very hard prayer to pray, even for Jesus, the One in whom all the fullness of God dwells, who is also the Son of Man. He’s like us, and it was difficult for Him. We are like Him in his humanity and it’s very hard for a parent to pray “not my will, but thine.” In another place in scripture, it says Jesus came to this conclusion: “…for the joy set before him, He endured the cross.” The writer then refers to heaven, the throne room where everything is set right and there is no more pain or sorrow. Then he says to us as humans living after the cross and resurrection, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” If you can focus on Jesus, who focused on the greater joy after the cross, in heaven, you can endure your own grief and loss and “not grow weary or lose heart.”
I could go on, but it’s best if I stop talking. There is so much more that could be said about Jesus and hope. He is not only our role model in right living, of being a child of God and of enduring hard things. He is our source of Comfort since He promised to send the Comforter after His resurrection. He is our source of strength since His spirit is in us who believe. But I’ll save other ideas for another time. For now, focus on Jesus who focused of the biggest and best plans of His own heavenly Father, and yours, and endured.(Scriptural references used for these thoughts include: Matt 26:39, Col 1:15-19, Heb 12:2-3.)
Blessings to you in His grace.