AGAINST ALL ODDS: THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS
Against all odds, He went to the cross
Against the cries of flesh and friends
Against human sense, He died for us
To dwell in glory with Him when life ends
Dusk was closing in as Jesus huddled with His disciples in the Upper Room. The encroaching darkness was like a foreboding of what lay ahead and it weighed heavily on the Master. The enormity of it descended mercilessly on Him as they later sat in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” He confessed to His disciples. “Tarry ye here, and watch with me,” He requested (Matthew 26:38).
Moving a little distance away, He “fell on His face, and prayed” (v. 39). That is a man in utter anguish. That is a prayer of life and death. Jesus knew His mission on earth wasn’t going to be a walk in the park but when He envisaged how it would end, when the horror of it all stared Him in the face, His human nature shrank from it.Jesus knew His mission on earth wasn't going to be a walk in the park. Click To Tweet
He made the same plea three times, asking God if there could be an alternative and as one Gospel account shows, He laboured so intensely in prayer, that His “sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:24).Jesus prayed intensely when he pondered over the horrifying death ahead of him. Click To Tweet
“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” He cried (Matthew 26:39).
But He didn’t stop there. He knew that as horrifying as His impending death would be, it was part of God’s salvation plan, the gateway to the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and death. He did not allow His alarm to blind Him to the fact that it was God’s will and so He added, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
God responded by sending an angel to strengthen Him for the ordeal ahead (Luke 22:43).
Earlier, when they were in Caesarea Philippi, and He explained to His disciples what was about to happen to Him, Peter objected strongly.
“Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” (Matthew 16:22).
Peter had just declared by divine inspiration that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” in response to the Master’s question, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus commended Him highly for this (Matthew 16:13-19). Yet, in the next breath, speaking as a man, he uttered words that discouraged Jesus from accomplishing His mission. Jesus’ response, harsh to the human ear but spiritually fitting was, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23 – ESV).
In the end, against all odds, Jesus bore the humiliation and the agony of crucifixion as it was written about Him trusting God for a triumph over death on resurrection morning. And glory to God, as prophesied, early on the first day of the next week, He arose! (Matthew 28).
His life is an example to us. Much of what God would have us do for His glory, for our own good and for the blessing of others might not be palatable to our flesh. Family and friends may protest, wearing us out with contrary counsel, which though well-intentioned, will set us far from God’s purpose for our lives. Some of these counsellors may have given us insight from the Father’s heart in the past. But if we are determined to obey God, He will alert us when they are speaking as mere men.May we overcome our flesh and contrary counsel in our bid to do God's will. Click To Tweet
In his distress, Jesus went to God in prayer. We can’t go wrong when we take our challenges to God for He is still “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 – NIV).
Ultimately, may our testimony be like that of our Master Jesus, that against all odds, we obeyed God. We bore the shame and the pain and we inherited God’s glory as the Scripture has promised.
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17-18).May we, like Jesus, obey God and fulfil His purpose for our lives against all odds. Click To Tweet
Let it be so in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
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