Friday, December 2, 2016

OUR DAILY ROUTINE. GETHSEMANE COMES BEFORE GOLGOTHA.

It's impossible to die with Christ, if we haven't first given ourselves up and said "nevertheless, not my will but Yours".

Just a reminder for each of  us, brought to me courtesy of the Living Word, Christ Himself, that I cannot experience Resurrection if first I refuse the preliminary steps.  

Gethsemane was a necessary stop for our Lord Jesus. Thus it's necessary daily for us. We must fall to our knees in our hearts every day, saying "here is what I would prefer to happen, Father".  Jesus prayed to escape the pain and suffering He knew was soon coming to Him. He knew betrayal and capture, torture, humiliation and death lay just ahead.  He would have preferred another way. But there was no ram in the thicket for Jesus.  Isaac escaped, but Christ would not.  So, He had to say what we need to learn daily to say after giving God our preferences...."Nevertheless, not my will but Yours, Father".

The second stop is often involuntary. When the deep rivers must be crossed. When we must be thrown in the fiery furnace. Or climb seemingly impossible mountains.  Or endure rejection and disappointment.  Or stay when we want to run.  Or work when we want to relax. Or give when we want to be given to.  Or love when we want to hate.

This second step is the Place of the Skull.  Golgotha.  The crucifixion of our own desires, and the will of the Father, for our good, for the good of all, carried out.  YET, do we see that it's our choice? That's why it must be Gethsemane before Golgotha every day.  We must be like Christ, knowing there is always a choice.  That we must opt for the highest and best every day, which is..."Nevertheless, not my will but Yours, Father."

And that's our lesson, so hard to learn, the hardest lesson of all.  We cannot be led to the Cross kicking and screaming, crying and moaning, reaching out to all around us for rescue. We must be like our Lord Jesus.  He was led, and He was quiet, and He took His suffering with grace.  

Gethsemane. Then Golgotha. Then Resurrection. No other order will do.

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