DayBreaks for 06/28/11 – Avoiding Our Crucifixion
NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11. Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!) Thanks for your understanding!
Matthew 26:39 – “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
From Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, it is clear that he wished for another way out – another way for man to be redeemed that would be less costly to him in personal terms. Yet, he knew it wasn’t possible – there was no other way, and as a result, he laid down his own life, willingly and joyfully. Even Jesus, as the son of David in his humanity, rebelled at the thought of the crucifixion. Perhaps it is that very fact that makes his statement in Luke 9:23 so amazing: “Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”
Jesus’ invitation is clear. If we want to follow him, the price must be our lives. Having been in a similar situation himself, facing a crucifixion, he hoped for another way out. But there was no other way out for him, or for us.
I’m sure that Jesus didn’t make his statement in Luke 9:23 lightly. Of course, at the time he spoke those words, he’d not yet faced his own crisis. His crisis, I’m sure, was felt as deeply as we feel any of ours. In many ways, his was much worse because he was beginning to feel the burden of the sin of the world in Gethsemane, the separation for God. I can barely carry the weight of my own sin.
Satan has always been the patron “saint” of unholy self-interest. He knows that, just as Jesus shrank back from the idea of the crucifixion, that we shrink back from the words of Jesus that tell us we share his destiny. As Calvin Miller put it, “We sin when we try to picnic in Gethsemane. Every time we refuse the cup of our own crucifixion, we serve the enemy of him whom we say we love.”
Let’s stop trying to picnic in Gethsemane. We’ve got a cross to bear. It is the price of following Jesus.
Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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