Holy week has arrived. Ponder being in the shoes of one of the disciples almost 2,000 years ago in the midst of Holy week, not knowing what was coming - both the ultimate low and ultimate high. It is hard to imagine life without knowledge of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’ve been processing Jesus’ utterances in Gethsemane as he prepared for what only he knew was coming. Though Jesus had gone with all of the disciples to Gethsemane, he pulled Peter, James and John aside. As he did so, his human emotions came to the fore, saying to the three, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38)
Imagine being one of Jesus’ inner circle, having heard and seen all that your Rabbi had said and done, then hear him share such dark and disconcerting thoughts. It would grab your attention and cause consternation. He then stepped away from them to commune with his Father. Some of what Jesus said is probably similar to what we would say if put in the same position,“My father…may this cup be taken from me.”However, Jesus isn’t like most of us, because after he addresses his Father, he says “If it is possible, take this cup from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus’ humanity naturally wants to avoid the pain of death and all that was encompassed in that, but his divinity understands the pain and separation that will be required to take on the sin of the world and break the chains.
Jesus knows ultimately what must be done, but it is his flesh crying out for another option, if it is possible. Yet, in his love, mercy, and grace, he says his Father’s will is best, beyond human understanding.I look at these brief words from Jesus, and they are a great challenge. I don’t often utter prayers of, "If it is possible, Lord, remove this situation I don’t like or is painful and seems overwhelming, yet not my will but yours." I normally just ask for circumstances or situations to be eliminated and removed, full stop. How many times do we look at a situation and only think about the circumstances - good or bad. We don’t view it through the lens of,‘Not my will, but Your will.’ I can speak to so many situations with the students and families that we serve at eduKenya in which I thought my will, desires and intentions were what was best and should be fulfilled - where there should be different results, particularly in the time frame I thought was good and just. Yet, I see with immediate and circumstantial evidence, not with the evidence of a Savior that says ‘yet, not my will, Father, but your will.’
Too often, even with what we view as the best of intentions, we live and desire results that are only of this world, and do not see with Resurrection eyes, a world not yet come.As we reflect throughout this Holy Week, may we be a people that live with the evidence of the resurrection in our hearts and the example Christ set before us - urging us to be a people that lives for God’s glory and says, ‘Father, not as I will, but as You will.’