Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Fullest Measure of Love and Forgiveness

Abba father," he said," everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.
Yet, not what I will but what you will."
~ Mark 14:36

Jesus left the upper room after revealing that He would be betrayed to the chief priests and that the disciples would deny being His followers. Jesus needed to prepare Himself for the events that had now been set in motion. He sought the solitude of the Garden of Gethsemane to connect with His Father through prayer and meditation.

Jesus was mere hours away from fulfilling His destiny, His purpose, His story. The fullest measure of strength, obedience, compassion, and forgiveness would soon be demanded of Him. Lovingly, an obedient Son called out to Abba, His Father. Jesus asked if this cup bearing the weight of the sins of all mankind might pass from Him. The Son submitted to the Father.

Jesus was determined to fulfill His Father's will, sacrifice on the cross. By trusting in the Father and committing to obey God's will, the Father strengthened Jesus to become and bear my sin, to face pain and rejection and condemnation. Can you imagine the battle fought during Jesus' three days of death and being totally separated from the Father?

My sin weighed heavily on God's heart. Adam and Eve's first sin broke the intimate bond man enjoyed with the Creator. At what cost could my sins be redeemed, be forgiven? Only the shed blood of the sinless and perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ, would forever satisfy the debt for all my sin. Roman soldiers may have placed Him on the cross, but it was my transgressions, my sins that nailed Him there. It was His love for me that willingly kept Him there. The sacrifice of God's very Son was demanded to forgive my debt and heal my brokenness. What Adam and Eve broke in the Garden of Eden, Jesus Christ began healing and restoring in the Garden of Gethsemane. He finished it on the cross and rose victoriously three days later.

Jesus had prepared the disciples to spread His message. Jesus now entrusted this mission to them. At Gethsemane He asked God to continue to protect and bless His followers. Jesus prayed for future believers who would come to know Him through the disciples' work.

How would my life be different if I grasped these key points?
· Crown God the Lord of my life. Beyond just acknowledging God's existence, I must yield myself, submit myself in obedience to His purpose and will for my life. I must strive each day to allow Him to reign supreme in my heart and in my life.
· Just as Jesus sought the Father in Gethsemane, I, too, must surrender my struggles, my hardships, my hopes to God and His purpose. I must place my full trust in God who created me and loves me and reigns over all. Jesus' victory on the cross began when He fell on His face and knees in prayer in Gethsemane. I will pursue God's heart through prayer and study; I commit to listen intently and obey confidently as He speaks to me.
· I must step up to share my faith and serve others in love, compassion, obedience, and forgiveness from God. Jesus entrusted this mission to me as His follower.

About the Author
Joining the Canyon Creek family in September 2009 with his wife Sue, Bill Locke serves as a Sunday night small group leader and enjoys singing with the worship team and choirs. Daughter Chelsea enjoys serving as lobby host and greeter! They enjoy being together and traveling together.

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