GETHSEMANE MUST LEAD TO
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
GETHSEMANE MUST LEAD TO GOLGOTHA
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
“They went to a place called
and Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Sit here while I pray.’
He took Peter, James and John
along with Him, and He began to be
deeply distressed and troubled…
Going a little farther, He fell to the ground
and prayed that if possible the hour
might pass from Him.”
“They brought Jesus to the place called
(which means ‘The Place of the Skull’).
Then they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh,
but He did not take it.
And they crucified Him.”
There is a huge distance between Gethsemane and
Golgotha. It is short in terms of worldly distance, a mere walk. Yet it’s millions of miles in spiritual terms. It’s literally an impossible leap for us, but it’s possible with God. And indeed, it’s a requirement of all those who would follow Jesus.
Many today fall to the ground in their personal
Gethsemane, distressed and troubled at their situation. Many of us who walk with Christ get this far repeatedly. We drop to the ground on our faces, and mourn and weep before our Father, asking for the cup to be taken away.
Far fewer go on with Christ to The Place of the Skull. This ugly, bare hilltop has no distinguishing features except the holes in the ground dug there to accommodate the ungainly crosses borne by those who’ve come to die. This is where true believers in Christ go to become like their Savior.
Today, we must be willing to die to self, to die to our own worldly ambitions, to die to even all the good plans and dreams we have, and to give all to our Lord Jesus. Like the rich young ruler in Scripture, Jesus asks us to give up all we possess, all we’ve crafted for ourselves, all the world has given us, and to follow Him to the ugly place of death, and die with Him. Like the apostles, we must be willing to forego all earthly rewards for the final reward our Father holds out for us.
Like Jesus we must refuse “wine mixed with myrrh”, which was a sedative to ease the pain. Jesus knew His Father was the only painkiller needed. His love, His strength, would see Christ through. Nothing artificial or man-made would mar Christ’s sacrifice, or lessen what He would go through for the love of His Father.
Oh, brothers and sisters, today the Lord Jesus is with you in your personal Gesthemane. He is with you in your tears and sorrow. But He loves you too much to let you stay in the Garden of Self-agony, where the death throes of our own nature cause sweat drops to flow like blood.
Death to self requires real blood, as Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice did for us. We must go on with Him. We must this morning, this evening, this night, allow them to take us to
Golgotha. We must let the spikes be driven through our flesh, and the cross be lifted up. Like Christ, our older brother, we must be lifted up, and so draw all men to Himself, rather than to us. It is in our dying that we allow resurrection to take place.
Many today will wail in
Gethsemane and ask the Father repeatedly, for days, for weeks, for months, even for years, to take the cup of suffering from us. Many of us never leave.
My prayer is this. That our God will give us His strength and power to go on to Golgotha, and to experience the death of Christ, so that we may then be raised like Christ to more and more spiritual power and holiness.
Indeed, the true disciple of Christ will be in Gethsemane many times throughout his or her life, and will be enabled by the Father to die to self more and more over the years. Like Paul, we must be able to say:
“I want to know Christ
and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship
of sharing in His sufferings,
becoming like Him in His death,
and so, somehow, to attain
the resurrection from the dead.”
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