This time of year evokes a wide expanse of emotions for me. Not far from my mind is the reality of all that Jesus Christ endured for the sake of all; For the sake of me; For the sake of my child; For the sake of you; For the sake of our relationship with The Ultimate in Power and Love and Wisdom and Grace; For the sake of our eternal life with our Maker, The Heavenly Father...Whenever I reflect on the hardships I've encountered, the pain I've dealt with, or the uncertainty of what will be when I embark on living God's will, I remember that none have experienced anything in the same capacity as our Savior. He endured the greatest in pain, anguish, and death.
While in conversation with my sister the other day, we touched upon my current standing within my faith and in heeding God's call: at His behest I created this blog, mindful to keep it His, not mine. Through this journey I am finding thoughts and feelings awakened within me that go against all I thought I knew of myself. To some extent I feel that I am lying to my former self or I'll think, Was my former self lying to me? Through all of this questioning I found that I am not convinced I am prepared for what God has in mind for me on the other side of this endeavor. The uncertainty of my feelings in regards to exposing myself the way I have can be debilitating. There is no surety in what will come to, or what this will mean for, my family. Sometimes, the idea of the possibilities of where this may lead makes me want to stop. Still, I genuinely pray that God's will is to be done, recognizing that this course is less about me and all about God.
Many of these revelations came to fruition while talking with my sister and she gracefully reminded me of Jesus' prayer to The Heavenly Father asking relief from his hour: to be the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our sins. Jesus pleaded to be spared the suffering. To be sent to a place void of God following a gruesome physical death, and to carry the entirety of sin for all of time knowing God is so pure and good He is unable to save you from true death or even look upon your face, is a formidable burden. But Jesus knew his purpose and while he asked for God to relieve him of this responsibility, he still prayed for God's will to be done.
~ Matthew 26:38-39 ~
38 Then he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay away with me." 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want."
~ Mark 14:34-36 ~
34 And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death remain here, and keep awake." 35 And going a little further, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want."
~ Luke 22:41-44 ~
41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done. 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
His purpose was to carry the weight of all of our wrong doings and evil ways, paying the absolute price for our salvation, giving us entry into God's kingdom and thus the gift of eternal life. The magnitude of this preordained end to his life is inconceivable...That reminder of Jesus' prayer brought much into focus: Jesus was human too. Jesus struggled with the acceptance of his purpose. Just like you and me, Jesus had a vast range of emotions. I expect more so. He felt despair and anguish at what was expected of him. Jesus' human self did not wish to endure what was to come at his hour. But Jesus wasn't just human, he was divine. Jesus is God in human flesh. He had an intimacy with The Father incomparable to anyone else, but that relationship didn't keep Jesus from wanting something different for his self. While he was an extension of God in the flesh, he was still of the flesh. Jesus was susceptible to the same temptations as you and me, beyond you and me. In the gospels we are taught the divinity of Jesus on earth; however, the gospels also show that Jesus was human struggling with what was required of him. He knew his role from birth, and as he grew he continued in steps towards his hour to come. Jesus was the official conduit of God The Father. He voiced God's words, God's message, and God's salvation. He knew he was meant to die a torturous death. He knew he was to be resurrected, saved by God after he fulfilled the purpose God gave him. The knowledge and understanding of his resurrection didn't suppress his desire to be spared the series of actions to achieve the result of his mission.
How does this realization of Christ as a human with human emotions help me? Well, I have many conflictions myself. On the one hand, I have been praying for God's will to be done, for God to open my heart so He may use me for His purpose, to reach His children. On the other hand, it scares me to think of what that really means. What will I have to do? What will it entail? However, I want nothing more than to follow the path He has laid before me. Yet, I do not know how to be what God needs me to be and I fear failure. However, God has impressed upon me certain revelations of what is to come throughout my life without the connectivity of the actual path to get there. I have a book in my heart that involves much research I know I am to write. I am not sure when or how I will get this book to be, or how it will reach those that it is meant for, but it will happen someday. My husband and I know we will be in that southern state, self-sufficient in living off of our land by homesteading. I have no idea how we are to get there, but God has gifted me with enough foresight to allow my continued faith to propel me further in His desire to have me start here.
Jesus knew the mission God set before him, too. He surrendered to God wholly, as shown here:
~ John 12:27-28 ~
27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say - 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
Conflict exists between our need to put ourselves first and wanting God to ultimately be in control. If Jesus can overcome his human self and set aside his personal desires for the greater good of the heavens and for the sake of all of Gods' creations, then so can I. It's not enough to just tack on "But Your will be done, Lord." NO. We must believe within our entire selves that we are entrusting this decision to Him and His purpose. We have to have faith that no matter what we do, think, feel, we are putting ourselves aside to allow God the ability to further His will. I am a weak human that is strengthened by God's spirit through Jesus Christ. I need God to navigate my life. When I pray for His will to be done following all of my pitiful pleading to keep me from what is going to be a difficult and painful time, I am asking myself to move out of God's way in hopes of preventing a wall that thwarts God from intervening in all that I do.
While Easter is about Jesus' ultimate sacrifice of his life for ours through the physical torture, spiritual hell, and his resurrection for the purpose of gifting you and me with eternal life, it is also about Jesus being a human example we can look to when we are in tough times. I cannot relate to Christ the Divine. The idea of the physical pain rocks my mind, the fact that he endured three days in hell - a place where God does not exist - is so unfathomable I am unable to wrap my head around it. His resurrection is actually easier for me to grasp because I know eternal life exists beyond this world. But for today, when I am struggling in my relationship with my Heavenly Father in doing as he commands, I am able to relate to the human flesh Jesus Christ that struggled with his God given destiny much the same way I do.
May you all have a wonderful Easter, remembering all there is to know about the greatest gift God has ever given His children: Eternal life through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed more than we will ever be able to fully comprehend or appreciate.
God bless and Happy Easter...