“He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.””
Recently a video was released of the Christian persecution in Nigeria amidst the political unrest there. Sadly it showed some Christians that were beaten to unconsciousness and burnt in front of an extremely hateful crowd. The cost of following Christ regrettably ended their earthly lives in an in-human and barbaric fashion but gave them eternal life in Heaven. Sadly, our brothers and sisters in Nigeria are not only ones facing persecution for following and being obedient to Christ. Across the world, many face being beaten to death for following Jesus. Yet this is not some recent fad, it has been happening throughout history; no more so than in Jesus’ time.
Jesus Himself, knew the cost of what it meant to be obedient to His Father. He knew it would cost Him His life. He knew that by being obedient to what the Father commanded Him to do, not only would He have to carry the weight of all of humanities sins on His shoulders, but His own life would become the sacrificial Lamb, taking the punishment for our sins upon Himself. So great was the weight of His task that Jesus actually sweat blood. However, Jesus’ next words were remarkable and one which stand as a precedent throughout history…. “Yet not by will by Yours!”.
Jesus’ unwavering obedience to the Father and His insatiable love for us, took Him to the cross, where sacrificially He gave up His life for us, so that we may be forgiven and restored. Remarkably, although the cost was great to bear, Jesus counted it His joy to lay down His life. Let us remember that being obedient, although sometimes hard and the cost great, is our joy. It is our joy to say YES to Jesus. It is our joy to live obedient lives. May we all find joy today and forevermore, as we gladly live our lives in obedience to our Master.