Every Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the value it offers: the payment for our sins, the completion of God’s redemptive plan, the defeat of spiritual death, and the assurance of eternal life for those who believe.
Yet, before the victory, there was agony. We must not miss the powerful lessons we can learn from His final hours. In the verse above, we see our Savior in prayer expressing Himself to His loving Father and reaffirming His submission to God’s will. As loyal servants of God, our response should be the same. Obedience. Surrender. It’s so simple, and yet sometimes so . . . incredibly . . . hard. What can we learn from Jesus’ example in this moment? Here are a few thoughts:
It’s okay to express how you feel to God. If anyone knew what was about to happen, and why, it was Jesus—He is fully God and fully man. On Earth, He had lived a sinless life and ministered for three years to prepare his followers for what must happen. Yet, in that moment, He didn’t try to avoid His human feelings; He shared them with His Father. Following Christ can be difficult—that’s okay. It’s what you do in the difficult moments that displays your faith and the strength of your surrendered heart.
Being in a hard place doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong place. Sometimes pain and difficulties are necessary. Jesus was in a hard place. He was about to fulfill His mission on earth; but to get there, He had to die. It was a tough reality, but it was part of the plan. If you are in a hard place today, remember, God is sovereign. He can help you see the purpose for the pain, give you a path around it, or help you get through it.
His will deserves our willingness. While Jesus made his request known to God, He knew the ultimate goal, and He willingly submitted to the Father’s will. How much more should we stay surrendered! God is all-powerful and could force His plans on the earth and its people. However, He has given us free will. We need to demonstrate our love and trust for God in obedient surrender.
As we prepare to celebrate His death, burial, and resurrection this Easter, let’s prepare our hearts by asking Him to reveal His will in various areas of our lives. Are there feelings or concerns we need to share with Him? Are we in a tough place and need some perspective? Do we need to reaffirm our obedience and surrender? Our Heavenly Father is waiting for us to say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours.”