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No Other Way

Matthew 26:37-46

Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up on sorrow – to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” Going a little farther, 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.”

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping! He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came again and found them sleeping because they could not keep their eyes open.

After leaving them, He went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the time is near. The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up; let’s go! See – My betrayer is near.”

As Jesus prayed fervently, asking the Father to let this bitter cup pass from Him, it may seem upon reading the text as if God were silent. Upon closer look, however, we see God was actually speaking in the garden that night. Every time Jesus returned to find the disciples sleeping, He received His answer.

Scripture clearly tells us they could not keep their eyes open. These were the men closest to Jesus.

            They were His community.

            He chose them to follow Him.

            He poured His life into them for 3 ½ years.

            They sat under His teaching.

            They watched Him perform miracles.

            They even learned to cast out demons in His name.

These were the most spiritual men on earth, yet they could not stay awake to pray under the darkness and oppression of the hour. If these men could not fight the temptation to fall asleep in the darkness of evil, neither could we. There was no other way. A sacrifice was needed. So, Jesus surrendered Himself to God’s plan and gave us the cross.

Because of Jesus’s obedience, God’s went to work on our behalf. Upon His death, the curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, where the blood of the sacrifices was applied to the altar, was ripped in two. Thereby, His sacrifice gave us direct access to the Father, allowing us to become His children and heirs.

As if direct access to the Father was not enough, God also gave us the resurrection, signifying that He accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as pure, holy, and unblemished. With the resurrection came power! Jesus had defeated death and is now alive, sitting at the right hand of the Father and interceding for us! We now have an advocate against the schemes of the enemy and power to defeat Him in the here and now! We have victory in Christ not because of what we may do or not do but because of what He has already done! Hallelujah!

If you are facing a dark or heavy situation today, lean into the sacrifice that Jesus has already made for you. Do all you know is right to do, and trust God to go to work on your behalf to do what you can’t do. Find rest in knowing you are a child of God and an heir with Christ in His kingdom. You have power to fight the battles before you today because Jesus rose from the dead and is at the Father’s right hand praying for you – right here and right now.  His complete sacrifice made a way for us when there was no other way, and He is still providing a way for us when there is no other way!

Happy Easter

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