We’ve all experienced blah days when we lack motivation. We’ve also experienced days when fear of something to face makes us want to stay in bed all day, hoping it will all go away. Even so, most of the time we throw the bed covers back, get up, dress, and get ourselves to work. We make ourselves face whatever the dreaded moment may be. We just do it. If not, there are consequences. We could lose our job, or ruin a relationship. There are consequences when we don’t face up to what we know we need to do.
As we contemplate this day, Passover Friday or Good Friday, the day we remember when Jesus was betrayed by a friend, arrested, and led away to be flogged and sentenced to death by crucifixion, we must also remember His choice that day. It was a choice that had eternal consequences for us all. We read in Matthew 26 something astonishing. Jesus was with His disciples on the Mount of Olives just outside the city of Jerusalem. They were all tired. Jesus was praying in earnest to His Father because He was greatly troubled; He was sorely distressed. He had pleaded with the others to pray with Him, but they were so tired they couldn’t stay awake. Matthew 26:39 tells us about Jesus, “He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.'”
Imagine that! Jesus knew what was coming. He knew what He was about to face. Remember, He was 100% human and 100% God. The Bible tells us He has felt everything we have ever felt, and He has been tempted with everything in which we have been tempted. Jesus knows what it is like to have fear stirring within. He knows what it is like to wish there was another way out. What motivated Him to make the right, necessary choice? Choosing His Father’s will. He chose to act in His Father’s love — for you and for me.
Can you and I do the same? Can we choose to act in our Father’s love when we are asked to show love to the unlovely? Can we show mercy to the undeserving? Can we be kind to the thoughtless? Can we speak tenderly to the crude? Can we forgive what we feel is unforgivable? Do we want to shout, “Father, show me another way!” Do we listen and follow when He says, “Choose not your will, but let Mine be done.”
Jesus chose His Father’s way. Jesus suffered greatly for it. He died an excruciating death. However, in the light of eternity, His suffering was but a moment; a dreadful moment, but a moment on the timeline of eternity. Now He sits in glory at His Father’s right hand. Now He waits in the greatest of joy for His Father’s command that will say, “The time has come. Go and get your bride.” In that glorious moment, all who personally know Jesus will hear that exciting trumpet sound and will meet Him in the air, to be with Him forever where perfect peace and jubilation will never cease.
Jesus’ suffering was great. Our sufferings at times are great, too. Jesus chose His Father’s way and now lives in ecstasy. When we choose our Father’s way we are destined for ecstasy, too. Do you already know Jesus? Then persevere. It will be worth it. Do you not know Him yet? Please choose Him. He will be your strength for today and your eternal joy for all your tomorrows.