December 06, 2009

A Dark Place

Mark 14:32-42

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Mark 14:34


“I don’t want to die,” the man pleaded, as cancer marched through his frail body. Everything inside of him wanted to resist this enemy disease. This dear person confessed that his heart was weighed down. He looked for Jesus to send a legion of fighting antibodies to save him, but they did not come. The medical team surrounding his hospital bed knew they could not save him. He was in a dark place.

Jesus knew a dark place. As he prayed in the shadow of olive trees on the night he was betrayed and arrested, Jesus struggled to accept the pressing burden of sin. He felt the pressure of accepting his own death even though he did not deserve it.

He even asked his Father to stop the whole thing and find an easier way to bring redemption.

Jesus did not want to die.

But Jesus’ words “Take this cup from me” were followed by his amazing response “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” It was a response that changed everything.

Jesus’ word “yet” made all the difference in the world. He gave up his will and endured the darkest of all places so we could have new life the Father. And now Jesus speaks good news of comfort to us when we are in dark places of struggle and fear. What a Savior!

Jesus, thank you for enduring the struggle of death for our sake, and for going through the darkest place for us so that we can have life. Thank you for being with us always. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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