“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Not my will, but thy will be done

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Christianity | 1 comment

We are mere hours away from the anniversary of the death of Our Lord upon the Cross. There are three truly sacred days for us as Christians – Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The first celebrates the birth of our Saviour, the second mourns His death, and the third – the most important of all – is when we fully appreciate the priceless gift He gave us.

But the night before the Crucifixion has a significance that we often miss.

Consider the following passages:

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[d] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.[e] See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

— Matthew 26:36-46, English Standard Version

And again in Mark:

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.[d]35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.

— Mark 14:32-42, English Standard Version

The depiction of Our Lord in the Gospel of Luke is more powerful still – for we see him in true agony:

39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[g]45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

— Luke 22:39-46, English Standard Version

John’s Gospel, by contrast, barely mentions this episode, yet spends an immense amount of time going over what Jesus said before He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. All four Gospels, though, are absolutely clear on one thing:

Jesus asked the Father to let the cup of His death to pass from Him – yet accepted His fate nonetheless.

Why?

Because God the Son needed to become the true High Priest of the new and perfect covenant, through obedience to the will and the plan of God the Father:

In the days of his flesh, Jesus[a] offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

— Hebrews 5:7:10, English Standard Version

Theologians have tied themselves into endless knots in debates over whether God the Father and God the Son are two distinct entities, persons, etc. Muzzies take these passages to mean we Christians are polytheists – which is quite hilarious if you know anything about their fake “religion”, because it turns out they are some of the worst polytheists and idol-worshippers on the planet, but that is for another time.

But really, the lesson, to my uneducated mind at least, is simple:

There are times when we have to go through pain and suffering, for a purpose and a reason. And in those times, it is necessary to ask why – but, once that question has been answered, it is necessary to OBEY.

This makes the hardest kind of sense. When we are going through the suffering, we will give anything to make it stop, especially if it seems undeserved or unjust – and, in many cases, it really does feel that way.

I know of what I speak. Many of you know how I lost my job in the USA, 6 years ago, and how that basically hit a giant red “RESET” button on my entire life. The next three years were very hard. It turns out, the Lord had to beat a LOT of the stupid, and the arrogance, out of me. And that was NOT fun.

There is still a lot more stupidity and hubris to hammer out. I know full well I am not going to enjoy that, either. But, in the process, I learned – or at least, I HOPE I learned – some form of obedience.

To be clear, there is NO comparison between what we suffer as mere mortals, and what God the Son suffered on the Cross. But there is a point to the suffering, and it is vitally important to keep that in mind.

As Good Friday draws near, let us remember this simple fact, and seek to learn obedience to the will of the Father. For, ultimately, we all really have only one choice:

With Him, or against Him.

That’s it. That’s all there is. And it is up to us to choose a side – but, if we choose His side, we should not expect life to be easy. It will not be. He never said it would be.

We CAN, however, expect Him to keep His promises to us. And that is a great comfort in times of suffering, such as the ones we endure now.

In the spirit of Holy Week, there will be no Friday poast – instead, there will be a double-header next week (right before I go off on vacation, as it happens).

Meanwhile, let us all take a few minutes to understand the books of the Bible:

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1 Comment

  1. Bardelys the Magnificent

    Holy Thursday is also the day Jesus established the priesthood. What He was able to accomplish in four days is greater than the sum of all human achievement, which is why He is worthy of praise and worship.

    Reply

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