Our Bible verse for today: “Going a little further, he fell facedown and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “How will you make your decisions in 2019?
We have spent the advent season preparing ourselves to properly and fully celebrate the birth of Christ. We have considered the amazing truth that Jesus voluntarily set-aside His heavenly glory and power, descended to earth and placed Himself in the womb of a teenage girl. He was born as a helpless baby in a manager and lived a simple life as a carpenter in a remote village for the next thirty years. Then He had three and one half years of active ministry before He went to the cross.
In Matthew 26:39 we find a scene from the last day of Jesus’ life on earth. It is very revealing and teaches a great lesson for us. In that scene Jesus and the Apostles have just finished what we have come to call “The Last Supper”. They have now gone to the Garden of Gethsemane to spend the night. Jesus knows He is about to be arrested, tortured, crucified, and made to bear the sins of the world. As He considers the staggering implications of this He prays, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus did not want to endure the horror of the cross if it could be avoided. But He would do it if that was the will of the Father. It was, and so He did. And of course, that was a turning point in human history. Because Jesus obeyed the will of the Father, you and I can have our sins forgiven and spend eternity in heaven instead of hell. His obedience and sacrifice in that moment of hesitation and doubt had significant implications for all of mankind.
As our celebration of Christmas 2018 draws to a close hopefully one effect it had on us is that it made each of us more determined to obey the will of God in 2019. In the coming year there will be many decisions to be made, some of them potentially big. Having a moment of hesitation and doubt is normal and it’s okay. Jesus had such a moment. Taking the time to pray and to consider your options is smart and that too is okay. Jesus did that too. But in the end the only right decision is to obey the will of God and trust Him for the outcome.
This is an important lesson we can and should learn from the life of Jesus. It’s so important that we will think about it some more tomorrow.