Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"A Bitter Cup Turns to Sweetness"

Matthew 26  "A Bitter Cup Turns to Sweetness"

In Matthew 26 we see Jesus....In the darkest hour of his life, choosing not to withdraw into himself, but to connect with the Father in prayer.  His soul is in torment, his flesh desires to avoid the suffering that is to come... yet, even at this difficult time, Jesus goes to prayer and willingly submits to the Father, willing chooses to drink from the cup of suffering.  

We all know that our life (if we live long enough) will be affected with a certain amount of suffering. We will all be betrayed by someone we considered a friend, we will all face death in some form... some of which will cause a great amount of suffering and pain.  The example of the struggle that Jesus went through can give us comfort, strength, and direction when we too face difficult times....Like Jesus, we can pour out our heart to God...Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me...while simultaneously choosing to trust His purposes, proclaiming, as Jesus did, "....your will not mine." Matthew 26:39.

When I consider that Jesus looked fully at the cup of suffering and still chose to drink of that cup...I stand in awe.  He could have called thousands of angels to protect Him and yet He loved me, you and the whole world so much...He chose not to:

"Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?"  In Matthew 26:52

Jesus chooses to look beyond the cup... beyond the Sin, the Suffering, the Sacrifice... and even the Separation... and in the bottom of that cup was the bottom line, the one thing that turned that bitter cup into sweetness.  Salvation...He was and is our only hope!

First, Jesus loves the Father and it was His greatest desire to do God's will in God's timing...that is why He prayed the same thing three times.  But, Jesus  loves you....He loves me... and that is why He looked beyond all that the cup had to offer and He got up from praying, dusted himself off, released the disciples from the weariness of prayer and he went down the "via del a rosa'... the way of suffering.  All that we may be saved today. (Romans 5:8)

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me... For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

And to quote Pastor James MacDonald:  Well, here I am - present and accounted for. It's the hard times and the unhealthy times and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it's also during those times that God
shows up strong.  

1 Samuel 30: 6 ..."But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God."

In His Strength,

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