August 10, 2008

Jesus' Highest Value

Luke 22:39-44

“Not my will, but yours be done.”
Luke 22:42


Jesus' final hours of suffering and death were the weakest moments of his life. They were the weakest moments ever experienced by any human being. Jesus drank the bitterest cup any human ever drank. His closest friends betrayed him, denied him, fled from him. Jesus was convicted in a sham trial, mocked and flogged, tortured and stabbed. While on the cross, it seemed that even his Father in heaven had abandoned him. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Finally he gave up his spirit and died. He knew all this was coming. How did he prepare? How could anyone prepare for the ultimate torture? Jesus turned to the source of his strength: his Father. Jesus pleaded with God that he would not have to face the horror of death on a cross. But there was only one thing he wanted more than avoiding the cross; it was obedience to God. At the conclusion of his prayer, Jesus set aside his own desire for safety, comfort, and peace. “Not my will, but yours be done.” Can there be any better way to turn weakness to strength? My own struggles and suffering will never compare to the titanic struggle between good and evil that Jesus willingly chose. But his choice to obey his Father over any other choice comforts and strengthens me. His victory is mine.

Beautiful Savior, thank you for your selfless obedience. In your life, I have life. Help me to share the good news of your victory over sin and death for us all. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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