Some years back, the question “what would Jesus do” seemed like a universal question in the church. Almost everywhere we turned, we saw this thought-provoking question. Today, I pray this question will become as popular: How did Jesus feel? In reviewing His life and experiences in scripture, it’s a great question to ask. Not only does it connect us to Him in ways that we might not have before, it helps us remember that Jesus was fully man and fully God when He came to live among us in the flesh. In essence, part of what Jesus learned through suffering, joy and everything else human was what it feels like to be us. Us. In all our helplessness. In all our emotions. In all our pain. In all our suffering. How amazing is it to grasp that God, and Jesus is God along with the Father and The Holy Spirit, wanted to experience what it’s like to rely upon Him and His way?
Today during prayer, God led us to see the contrast between Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (matthew 21) and His crucifixion (Matthew 27). How fickle we people are, for surely the welcoming, reverent crowd essentially welcoming a king (Matthew 21:8) were many who cried out for His blood (Matthew 27:22-23) only a few days later. What we haven’t considered intil now is how Christ felt when people showed Him such respect and honor when He knew what would happen in a few short days. How did His humanity affect Him? How much did that humanity have a part to play in seeking the Father (Matthew 26:38-46) before He offered Himself as that sacrifice once for all our past, present and future repented sins? How much of the experience of that triumphant entry into jerusalem was on His mind when He struggled so mightily to yield to the Divine plan?
8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
Matthew 27:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
This (Matthew 26:38-46) was God in the flesh experiencing what it’s like to be us, to dread upcoming events and the pain they bring but to ultimately yield, actually surrender, to God’s will, plan and purpose (Matthew 26:42) as opposed to what seems to us a perfectly natural and reasonable desire or request.
Matthew 26:38-46 (NKJV)
38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
The Father strengthened Jesus just like He strengthens us when we need to surrender to His will even when it hurts to do so. May we who follow Him learn from His example.
Let’s pray: Father God, thanks for being there for Jesus and never leaving or forsaking Him just like Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us. Jesus, thanks for openly, transparently working through Your challenges and emerging focused and purposeful because You sought help and strength from the Father. Thanks for being our savior, and thanks for showing us how to live spiritually, that doing so sometimes involves internal struggle and ultimate surrender. Thanks for helping us focus on Your will, plan and purpose. May all be done. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved