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“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Thus reads the Scripture about the price God would pay to bring us back to Him. But as Jesus was about to go to the cross, His disciples weren’t thinking about His long-range mission: They were too busy enjoying the recognition they were receiving from the crowds from being associated with Jesus. They were “flying high”! But Jesus had not come to cater to our selfish desires. He would not play the world’s game of trying to build our own self-image by gaining the acceptance of others—neither will He allow His followers to do it. He must bring these disciples to the awakening of who they really were, of why they were here on this earth. All this “acceptance” would shortly meet an abrupt end.
Jesus’ disciples were vaguely aware of the growing anger toward Him by the people in authority. Both the religious and civil leaders were afraid of the acceptance the common people had given Him. Nothing is so feared by tyrants as a growing ideal among the masses. Jesus had been teaching the common folk why they were alive, and they had “come alive” in response to His message. The authorities feared an open revolt, which would spell the end of their power and position—and the wealth associated with it. Thus, they decided Jesus must die. And so, the framework for Jesus to show His followers the greatest reason He came to this earth was now in place.
After He spent the evening with His closest followers in an upstairs room, summing up for them His mission and their part in it, He proceeded to a favorite place of His. It was a quiet grove of olive trees—a place where He often came to meet with His Father. This night, however, was the most difficult He would ever spend within these trees. As He entered this grove, He asked His followers to use their time praying with and for Him. They certainly cared for Him and could tell He was very burdened about something. And they tried to pray for a while; but sleep quickly overtook them…and Jesus was left to fight alone this “battle of the ages.”
As He was being crushed by the weight of the ominous cloud on the horizon, He poured out His heart to God, pleading to be delivered from this awful experience of death on a cross. But His greatest concern was not the brutal physical pain He was about to undergo; it was the spiritual warfare He would endure. The hosts of hell were about to have their greatest moment, and He was to be the object of their torture.
Yet, He had known from the beginning that this was His purpose. He was the only One Who could buy man back from the domination of satan—from the enslavement which had shackled the human race ever since Adam’s fateful choice in the Garden. He was the only One Who could restore man to his original purpose of being a vessel through which God could live in this earth. It all rested on His shoulders. He would succeed in this fight or. . . .well, He simply had to win.
But He was a man too. Could He face the physical torture without giving in? Could He endure the spiritual agony of being given over to hell’s hordes? Would His faith endure the time of death’s agony? Would He trust His Father’s word in the Scripture to bring Him out of the pit of death? Who had ever had to face this kind of experience? No one! There was no story from which He could gain encouragement. There was no fellowship of another who had walked this way before. He would be facing for all mankind the epic battle—alone.
What are we willing to go through to accomplish the Father’s will in this earth. Is our relationship with God one of what He can for us—or is it one of what He can do through us?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.
(This message has been taken from our book Why God Birthed America. You can order a copy of Why God Birthed America at HERE)