Lent: Day Seventeen

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! - 1 Chronicles 16:11

When I think about the death and resurrection of Jesus, I often overlook the fact that this was something Jesus did not want to do. Because he was human, Jesus felt pain, and crucifixion was an excruciatingly painful event. Beyond that, Jesus dreaded the separation from God that came from taking on the sins of mankind.

Matthew 26:39-44 displays the wrestling of Jesus as He goes to the Father,

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed,“ My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.”

When Jesus is confronted with something that the Father wants him to do, Jesus falls on his face in prayer and talks to the Father about it. This is something totally opposite of what my instinct is to do. When God asks me to do something that I do not want to, I want to avoid talking to God about it. I relate more with the story of Jonah.

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.” -Jonah 1:1-3

Jonah was faced with a daunting task, and instead of talking to God about it, he runs away. Jesus’ actions challenge me to run to God when I struggle with His commands, rather than run from Him.

Today, I encourage you to pause and consider what God is asking you to do, and run to your Heavenly Father and talk to Him about it.