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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Battle In The Garden


I'm still chewing on my pastor's sermon last Sunday, Lord. It was inspiring and uplifting because He emphasized that the man Jesus was fully divine. Though You stepped out of eternity and into flesh for some 33 years You never stepped out of Your divine nature and perfection. Yes, You laid aside some of Your power and authority and chose to limit Yourself to our dimensions of time and space. But You were still God--always have been--always will be.

Pastor was teaching us about the horrible hours of agony You spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was teaching us about that cup You prayed about. Our Bible records Your words as something like, "Father, let this cup pass from Me if it is Your will. Nevertheless, Your will, not My will, be done."

I've heard numerous hypotheses about that word cup in this context. But I believe Pastor Mike has nailed it. He explained about the Greek words in the text. Then he reminded us that, because You were fully divine, You could never ask Your Father to relieve You from Your purpose and responsibility on this earth-to die for our sins. You could never short-change the Father's plan. You weren't even praying to be relieved of the agony of the precipitous events that You knew were coming.

Pastor is convinced that You were in such spiritual warfare in the Garden, that Satan was attacking You so fiercely, that Your human body was about to die right then and there. He believes that the original language says You were in such agony that Your spirit was about to be separated from Your human body. That would have been a premature death. It would have spoiled everything. It would have eliminated the Cross, which would have eradicated our means of salvation.

Pastor says that Satan was trying to kill You before You could go to the Cross. Then we would have forever been lost. And the devil would have won an eternal victory. You didn't want that to happen. You prayed for that early death to pass so that You could go on to suffer and die according to the Father's great plan for our salvation.

I've always had trouble understanding that event in Your earthly life, Jesus. I've always sort of puzzled at other theories about this text.

This one I can believe. This one makes sense to me. You are that kind of God. You never take the short cut. You never take the lazy way out. You never put Your comfort before our need.

You are amazing, Jesus. You are God.


I remember that night well, Little One. It was a furious, exhausting battle. A battle for the souls of humankind. A battle I couldn't afford to lose. I wouldn't lose. I refused to lose.

And, you know what? You were worth it all.