Posted on April 9th, 2014
Most of life is a battle of wills. A boy wants to eat more candy, the father says, “You’ve had enough.” A girl wants to stay up late, the mother says, “Go to bed.” Self-discipline teaches us to restrain our will. We would prefer to read a book or watch television, but the homework must be done, so the wise person says, “I would be happier playing a video game right now, but I know that it will not lead to my happiness tomorrow.” That is good, but not yet how the Lord Jesus goes to His passion. We heard His simple prayer: “Not what I will, but what You will.” Does Jesus want to go to the cross? Not at all. Getting beaten up, laughed at, spit upon, and nailed to a tree is the last thing He wants to do. But He says to God the Father, “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Adam said to God, “You will that I not eat of this tree, but my will is to eat of it.” And he did. And he died.
Cain said to God, “You will that I not slay my brother, but my will is to strike him down.” And he did. And he was banished.
Throughout human history, men have known God’s will but eagerly turned against it.
Only Jesus always said to God His Father, “Not what I will, but what You will.” Jesus is the perfect man, because He always does God’s perfect will.
What does it get Him? It gets Him killed. But it’s worse than just dying. Jesus is brought to the point of saying this: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” That’s Aramaic, which was the everyday language Jesus spoke. It means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Forsaken is a big word, and terrible. It means to be left all alone, abandoned, not cared for. Can you imagine how terrible it would be to be left all alone, to have everybody turn against you?
On the cross, Jesus suffered more than just the pain of nails and thorns. He suffered the terrible pain in heart and mind of having God the Father turn against Him. That’s what sin does. It separates us from God, causing a terrible divide so that God turns away. When Jesus suffers for us, that’s the biggest thing He suffers – God looks away from Him, leaves Him all alone.
But the most amazing thing is that, through it all, Jesus still says, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me.” Jesus never stops calling the Father His God. At the darkest moment, Jesus still trusts completely in God the Father.
Because of Jesus’ perfect obedience, God says to us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So, No matter how bad things get, no matter how terrible this world is, no matter how terrifying death is, remember God’s Word to you: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”