Easter Countdown: 3 Days

“Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ ” (Matthew 26:38-39)

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus knew – had known all along – that his path was leading to the agony of the cross. Today’s verse shows he didn’t march forward without feeling it.

count_350No, he was “overwhelmed with sadness to the point of death.” Is it hard for you to hear him say that before going to the cross for us? It is for me – not out of guilt or shame so much as because I’ve learned to love him now. His sadness in suffering for me makes me sad; I don’t want to see him hurt.

And in the middle of his sadness, he shows me how to respond to God in my own sadness. Instead of using his profound sorrow as an excuse to serve himself, to indulge in self-pity or disobedience (as I have done), he sets his own will aside for the will of the Father.

Think: How often do you use your hard circumstances or painful emotions as a justification to reject God’s will for you and go your own way? What’s the cost of rejecting God’s will when we’re at our lowest point?

Pray: Thank God that Jesus chose the will of his father even when he was overwhelmed with sadness. Ask him to help you to do the same.

Do: Think about Jesus’ act of obedience this weekend as you wait for Easter morning.