Something amazingly wonderful happened yesterday. Let me tell you about it.
I was reading “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. With the exception of the Bible, no other book has had such a profound impact on my life. It’s an amazing daily devotional. But sometimes, I read an entire passage, and do not understand what Chambers is saying.
This happened yesterday.
In the April 5 entry titled: “His Agony and Our Access,” Chambers is talking about how we can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I knew it was important, but I wasn’t fully grasping what Chambers meant when he said — “the agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world.”
Why was Jesus in such agony and pain?
It had to be more than just Christ’s destiny of the physical pain He would endure. Jesus wasn’t sweating blood because He was fearing what the Roman soldiers would do to Him.
I was missing something, and it was bugging me. So I went back to the Bible.
For whatever reason (Hi Courtney, I’m the Holy Spirit), the passage that jumped out the most to me was in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Huh?! What cup? Cup of what? I don’t remember reading this before. What the heck — I’m stupid and don’t understand anything. (This is what I say to myself in my head — I’m so affirming.)
I knew God lead me to read Luke 22 for a reason, and that I was right on the edge of fully grasping Chambers’ message, but it wasn’t all coming together in my brain.
So I prayed — asking God to help me seek an understanding of His word.
Figuring God would provide me understanding at some point in the near future, I decided to move along with my morning. I picked up “Radical” by David Platt, and no joke, the first line I read was “Picture Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane…”
Say What!? I love when the Spirit moves like this. Less than two minutes after I prayed for understanding,here was a resource to help me. Needless to say, I was intrigued by what David Platt had to say.
Again — why was Jesus in such agony? Here’s what Platt said:
Why was he trembling in that garden, weeping and full of anguish? We can rest assured that he was not a coward about to face Roman soldiers. Instead he was a Savior about to endure divine wrath. Listen to his words: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” The “cup” is not a reference to a wooden cross; it is a reference to divine judgement. It is the cup of God’s wrath. This is what Jesus is recoiling from in the garden. All God’s holy wrath and hatred toward sin and sinners, stored up since the beginning of the world, is about to be poured out on him, and he is sweating blood at the thought of it. What happened at the Cross … was about the wrath due to your sin and my sin being thrust upon his soul. In that holy moment, all the righteous wrath came rushing down on Christ … Christ drank the full cup of God’s wrath…
This is the gospel. The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent his Son to bear his wrath against sin and to show his power over sin in the Resurrection. This is what Christ’s destiny was, and what His agony was all about.
I got it. I get it. Love teachable moments.