If it be Your Will…

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Out of the darkness of an ancient garden, we hear a sobbing voice. The One who crafted kingdoms and set the stars, pleads, “If it be your will, let this cup pass from me.” This plea reveals both His humanity and divine nature. He knows that destiny stalks Him on this night. It follows us as well.

When we run out of pretty prayers and Sunday School answers, pleading is an intimate, ugly cry that dares to cast away its pride.

Some roads we travel are eminent and relenting. There is no turning back, no escape…

  • We gather around a hospital bed as the beeping of the monitors slowly cease. If it be your will…
  • We leave our longtime home to discover a new life. If it be your will…
  • Our worst nightmares are realized as a prodigal is cuffed and carried away for years. If it be your will…
  • Documents are signed and delivered. The marriage is over. If it be your will…
  • Your mind is unclear and you are carried to assisted living knowing this room will be your last. If it be your will…

For Jesus, the world He came to save is now turning against Him. At this moment, one of His followers combs through the garden with a band of conspirators to capture Him. At the time of His greatest need, His dearest companions are comatose and negligent. He is utterly alone and the weight of the harrowing pain—every kind of pain including isolation, torture, shame, nakedness, blood and farewells, would soon appear under the rays of the moon and the poor light of a covered sun.

We see Him in the garden, a different garden that served as the arena of man’s fall, and He pleads, “If it be your will…”

Ultimately this is the cup of God’s fury. There is only One who experienced the wrath of God in its completeness, in it’s fearful symmetry, in a place where the forces of evil converge into one horrible event. This is place where Jesus is kneeling tonight– in the crosshairs of deep malevolence and holy blood soaked redemption. And Jesus knows this. He knows this well.

You may be pleading in your own sweat and blood eve of consequence. Pleading is messy prayer. It’s when we can do nothing else but cry out.

When we plead, we come to the end of ourselves and stumble toward the One who loves us. Beggars are never rejected at the footstool of the Almighty. We can come to the One who knows the harsh fulcrum of our pain.  When we fall, we fall to Him.

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