Thursday, April 05, 2012

Maundy Thursday: Not My Will But Yours Be Done

It being Maundy Thursday, I thought I'd offer a bit of food for thought for anyone interested.

There's not much more I can say that the below articles don't say much, much more clearly, so I'll just post a link to this article.

The question is: Did Jesus want to avoid the cross? When he said 'not my will but yours be done', was he actually wavering in his commitment to the mission he had been sent to earth for, and most willingly?

Not only did Jesus repeatedly acknowledge that his death would come to pass, he also repeatedly stated his confident commitment to dying on behalf of sinners. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees just before his last trip to Jerusalem, challenging them, "Go tell that fox [Herod], 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day - for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem" (Luke 13:32-33).

After Jesus's resurrection he rebuked two of his disciples for failing to understand the necessity of his death, burial and resurrection, saying, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" Even though Christ said this after his resurrection, there is no reason to believe that he came to this conviction after his struggle in the Garden. In fact, he clearly says that even the disciples should have always known the inevitability of the cross because of the prophets. If he held the disciples accountable for what the prophets said, how much more would he, the very One of whom they prophesied, (5) be held accountable?

In fact, the crucifixion of Christ is the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The gospel without the cross is no gospel at all (1 Cor. 2:2). Jesus concluded his commission of the disciples with this confident focus: "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46-47).
Read the rest of the article here.


Still not convinced?

Here's another.

...In the garden Jesus said that He was about to die; in Hebrews we are told that He was praying to the One "...able to save Him from death..." We are also told that the Father heard His prayer. Obviously this does not mean that God simply "heard" Him. It is a basic truth that God "hears" everything, why state it in this passage? But when God heard Jesus, it means that the Father answered Jesus' prayer. Jesus had said the Father always heard His prayers.

The Father heard His prayer because of His piety, holiness. Jesus was obedient unto death. Once He became aware of His need to die on the cross, He never wavered. He never looks for an escape. He was obedient, obedient to death, even death on the cross. His was not a hesitating obedience but a holy, joyful, whole-hearted obedience. He did not look for a way out of His calling...ever. We cannot judge His obedience by the obedience which we see in others and maybe see in ourselves. His obedience was perfect, from the heart, unwavering, joyful. We should not think of His pure obedience in the light of our anemic obedience.
Read the rest of the article here.


And finally, if all that is too complicated, or too in depth for you to follow, this man says it pretty succinctly (though without all the Scriptural evidence of the above articles).

...The Bible teaches that Jesus’ vision never stalled-out on death. Jesus saw right through the cross to the resurrection on the other side. You and I may fear death, but Jesus never did. You and I may doubt God’s purposes in suffering, but Jesus never did. Ever! What was definitive for Jesus was the joy set before Him, not death....

The model that Jesus gives us is not that he had doubts and fears like we do. The model that He gives us is perfection. We don’t ever have to give in to doubt and to fear. Doubt and fear have no place in those who are trusting in the promises of the God who resurrects from the dead, and they certainly never had any place in Jesus.
Read the rest of the article here.

7 comments:

  1. rebekkah2:30 PM

    Really enjoyed this post, especially your closing statement.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Rebekkah. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lori,

    Good post. The point is well taken that the Father and the Son are of the SAME will, not divided in the least. The misunderstanding which teaches otherwise is referred to as "Eternal Subordination" which was the basis of Arius' teaching and necessitated the first Counsel fo Nicaea, hence, the Nicene Creed. If Evangelicals want to be Subordinationist, then we should look to the Jehovah's Witnesses for help. They are classical Arians ;o)

    This Subordination idea is also reflected in Grudem/Piper's perspective relative to man/woman relationships, referred to as "Complementarianism".

    Wikipedia has a good article on the “Economic and Ontological Trinity”.


    I've just finished reading the first two articles you link to. The first is very good. The second is alright, but the author continues to persist in the misunderstanding that God "forsook, and turned away from the Son" on the cross--an old and persistent myth.

    In my opinion I think it’s too simplistic to say that Satan was trying to kill Jesus in the garden. I do think there’s some truth in that understanding; as Luke’s account of the Temptation ends with, “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

    However, even as the first article points out, the profuse sweating and agony is indicative of shock, so, what is causing the shock? Fear of suffering and death may also play into that shock. It is possible to fear something, to totally abhor it, yet to remain steady in resolve to accomplish that something. I certainly DO NOT believe that Jesus was “fearful” of “God turning his back.”


    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Lori,

    Good post. The point is well taken that the Father and the Son are of the SAME will, not divided in the least. The misunderstanding which teaches otherwise is referred to as "Eternal Subordination" which was the basis of Arius' teaching and necessitated the first Counsel fo Nicaea, hence, the Nicene Creed. If Evangelicals want to be Subordinationist, then we should look to the Jehovah's Witnesses for help. They are classical Arians ;o)

    This Subordination idea is also reflected in Grudem/Piper's perspective relative to man/woman relationships, referred to as "Complementarianism".

    Wikipedia has a good article on the “Economic and Ontological Trinity”.


    I've just finished reading the first two articles you link to. The first is very good. The second is alright, but the author continues to persist in the misunderstanding that God "forsook, and turned away from the Son" on the cross--an old and persistent myth.

    In my opinion I think it’s too simplistic to say that Satan was trying to kill Jesus in the garden. I do think there’s some truth in that understanding; as Luke’s account of the Temptation ends with, “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

    However, even as the first article points out, the profuse sweating and agony is indicative of shock, so, what is causing the shock? Fear of suffering and death may also play into that shock. It is possible to fear something, to totally abhor it, yet to remain steady in resolve to accomplish that something. I certainly DO NOT believe that Jesus was “fearful” of “God turning his back.”


    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  5. sorry about the double posting.

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tom, I only just saw your comment. Thank you!

    I recently finished reading 'Silence' by Shusaku Endo, and it reminded me of this topic, of how Jesus would have been in agony over the fear of death, without breaking his resolve. It further clarified for me that 'this cup' referred to the fear and the anguish and agony he was experiencing in the garden, not the actual act to come. Perhaps, I wonder now, if it wasn't the fear of dying in the garden and not being able to go to the cross, but the very fear itself that Jesus hoped could be taken from him.

    As for God turning his back, I don't know. I've never thought of it, actually, that that might not be right either! So I'm currently looking into it - thank you for making me think!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I appreciate your reply, Lori.

    BTW, I'm Tom from the old CF of NWA days. Alison directed me to this conversation/post of yours. We're coming to understand a lot of things much differently in our journey.

    Feel free to delete one or both of my comments...duplicates are so untidy ;o)


    Tom

    ReplyDelete

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