Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sorrow and Suffering... Advent of Joy #13
I was reading a devotional this morning. It talked about Jesus in the garden, and what He went through there.
“He took Peter, James and John along with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ He said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’ Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. ‘Abba, father,’ He said, ‘everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.’ “
Beth Moore said in the devotional that in Luke 22:44, where it records He sweat drops of blood, that was a condition very rare, and only seen when a body was put under extreme stress and emotion that it was not designed to handle.
Can you imagine being in such emotional pain, under such and incredible amount of physical stress, that your body wasn’t designed to handle it?
I went through the past few years or so, and felt pain that I thought I would never get through. This past year has been even more intense. At times, I thought I would die from the pain and despair I felt. At times I wanted to. The emotional intensity of facing pain in my past and dealing with it was, at times, more than I could bear.
Now that I have gone through the devotional this morning, I realize something that brings me a reason to rejoice.
Jesus knew that kind of pain intimately. He was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, like I was. I just said above that I wanted to die. I would say that was my sorrow overwhelming me. To the point of death.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
He understands what I went through this past year. He understands how much it hurt.
He went through such pain and suffering.
Jesus asked God to take the cup of suffering from Him. He didn’t want to go through it and asked God to remove it. Have you ever thought about that? God could have stopped what Jesus went through. His Daddy God could have spared His dear Son from everything that He went through. He had the sovereign power to do so, yet chose not to.
Another reason to rejoice. God’s love for us, and Jesus love for us, kept them walking the path they had chosen… despite the pain, in spite of it. They both kept going, though the stress and pain of it was almost more that Jesus’ human body could handle. They knew the pain Jesus was in at the time, and the enormous pain and suffering to come. Yet they walked the path.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”
Jesus still endured the pain because He saw the greater JOY coming when He would be back with God, when He would the the first born of many sons and daughters who could join Him in heaven.
I can choose JOY because my Jesus knew all that I was going through. He knew feelings of being overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He knew the feeling of wanting these things to go around Him, pass Him by. Just like I was begging God to do for me this year.
I can choose JOY because God loved me so much that He sent His Son to die, to take my punishment, so that I could draw close to Him. Jesus kept going, because He knew He was taking on the ultimate pain and suffering that I would have, had He not kept going.
I can choose JOY because God has offered me the eternal gift of life. My sin would have brought me nothing but death. God loves me so much that He didn’t want that. He wanted me with Him in heaven, never seperated from Him, ever.
I can choose JOY this season because it is about awaiting the baby that was to be born, setting aside all His heavenly glory, knowing fully what He would be going through, yet He chose the earthly path with joy in His heart. For He would be reunited with His Father, and He would bring us with Him
I can choose JOY because that is what Jesus chose.