“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin. Let us therefore fearlessly and confidently and boldly come to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. “(Hebrews 4:15–16).
Dear Readers, have you ever felt lonely? Has your soul ever felt sorrowful before? Have you ever felt as though your loved one, friends and family had abandoned you? Have you ever felt like you were misunderstood? Have you ever been in a tight place? Have you ever had a hard time understanding or submitting to the will of God for your life? If so, then you have an idea of what the Lord Jesus went through as He agonized at Gethsemane.
My friend, consider the fact that Jesus, who is God, is Omniscient, all-knowing. Therefore, He was fully aware of the horrors of the crucifixion that awaited Him. He knew His disciples would abandon Him. He knew Judas Iscariot would betray Him. He knew that Simon Peter would deny Him. He knew people would rip His back open, press a crown of thorns into His head, beat Him, spit in His face, and crucify Him. Worst of all, He knew that all the sins of the world would be placed upon Him.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was “a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). But the sorrow He experienced in Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all the sorrow He had ever known and would accelerate to a climax the following day. However, the Good News is that the ultimate triumph that was to take place at Calvary was first accomplished in Gethsemane – the place of pressing. Gethsemane is a place where you keep praying the same prayers over and over again.
Jesus told Peter, James, and John, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch” (Mark 14:34). Jesus’ sorrow and anguish was so powerful, it threatened His very life. In the face of this dreadful prospect of bearing God’s full fury against sin, Jesus knelt to the ground and began to pray. This was not a quiet whisper of a prayer. Hebrews 5:7 tells us that, “While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver Him out of death. And God heard His prayers because of His reverence for God.” It is interesting that the very word Gethsemane means “olive press.” Olives were pressed there to make oil, and truly, Jesus was being pressed from all sides that He might bring life to us. I don’t think we can even begin to fathom what He went through.
My friend, maybe you are at a crisis point or sorrowful situation or depressing point in your life right now? Are you in a personal Garden of Gethsemane? Maybe you are in a tight corner or cross road and you don’t know what to do? Perhaps you have your will and you know what you want, yet you can sense that God’s will is different. Would you surrender to God and let Him choose for you? Would you be willing to say, “Lord, I am submitting my will to Yours. Not my will, but Yours be done?” You will not regret making that decision. Sometimes we are afraid to do this, because we have a false concept that God’s will for us is not good.
You might be thinking, “How about His plan for Jesus? That didn’t seem very good.” No doubt about it, it was very difficult for Jesus, to say the least. No question about it, He faced the full wrath of God against all sin. But, my friend, look at what it accomplished – the end result. It brought about your salvation and mine. Because of what Jesus went through at Gethsemane and ultimately at the Cross of Calvary; because He surrendered Himself to God and chose to let His will prevail, God highly exalted Him and His name above all other names both here on earth and in heaven. We can call upon His name today and God will answer.
Though what He went through was an unfathomably painful and a horrific transition, it was necessary for the ultimate goal of what was accomplished – salvation of human souls! My friend, maybe you are going through a difficult time at this Easter season. Are you in a cross road, confused and praying for direction? Are you in a tight place? Maybe you are alone and nobody wants to help, support or pray with you. Are you confused in your choice right now? Listen! It will be so much better if you allow the Lord to choose His plan for you.
The Bible says, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” (Prov 19:20-21) My friend, It will be so much better if you allow the will of God to take pre-eminence in that relationship, in that career, in that choice, in that decision, in that situation, in that problem, in that temptation or in that challenge confronting you right now. If you do, one day, you will be able to look back and say, “Lord, thank You for making that choice for me.” “Lord, thank You for letting me know Your will on that matter.”
My friend, hear me! God’s plans for you are good. As Jeremiah tells us, the thoughts that God thinks toward you and I are “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11). In your moments of uncertainty, in those times when it seems everyone have let us down, remember that Jesus has been there and is still there for you. God’s plans for you are so much better than the plans you have for yourself. Will you let Him choose for you? He knows the end from the beginning. All that glitters are not gold. Will you allow Him to direct your path and lead you in the way you should go? Will you allow only His will to prevail in the matter? You can make many plans, but it is only the Lord’s purpose that will prevail. It is only a couple (a man and a woman) who God joins together that will last forever. Take good and godly counsel and accept correction. That’s the way to live wisely and well.
We human beings keep brainstorming options and plans that fit into our desire. We analyse everything in our own flesh instead of allowing the Holy Spirit of God to lead and direct us. Anytime we are in a tight place, we prefer to choose every other option, except God…we seek for the opinion or counsel of every other person, except for the will of God in prayer…we surround ourselves with true friends and unfriendly friends instead of staying alone in the presence of God asking for His will in the matter. My friend, it is time to surrender to God at our tight place – the place of our personal Gethsemane and allow the will of God to prevail in all we choose to do just as Jesus did. Remain blessed!