GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Acting In Confident Faith
By Keith L. Estes
Gethsemane was a garden near the foot of the western slope of the Mount of Olives.
The human race started in a garden. Jesus suffered his agony in a garden. Paradise will be a garden.
The most pitiful incident in the whole sorrowful story of Jesus' suffering was that night in Gethsemane.
We wonder why he dreaded his death. We read of martyrs being burned at the stake with songs of joy on their lips. But Jesus, whom we think of as stronger than ordinary men, when he was brought face to face with his death, acted as if he just could not go through with it, and cried out in anguish that, if possible, it might not be.
We wonder why. It must be that Jesus knew that he was going to suffer something that men do not ordinarily suffer in death, or at least that they do not know beforehand that they are to suffer.
Jesus died for the sins of the world. Whatever theory of the atonement we may hold, Jesus, in some sense or other, died to save us from being lost. He must therefore, have suffered something of what we will suffer if we are lost. Else how could his death save us from being lost?
Jesus had come out of eternity knowing that the Cross was at the end of the road, for he knew that he was coming as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As a man he left Galilee, and set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem, walking with steady tread, never wavering, never faltering, realizing that the cross was at the end of the road.
But now he had come to the end of the road, and there stood that ghastly thing. It made even Jesus the Son of God temporarily entertain the thought of turning back. The language of his three prayers shows that the "possibility" of not going to the cross was in his mind. Then, as the two, three or four hours of wavering passed, and he put out of his mind all thought of escape, and set his face like steel to go to it, what it meant to him made him sweat drops of blood, and become so weak that God sent an angel to strengthen him.
We can never in this world understand the awful mystery of the atonement-why it had to be. Only this-it was to save us. The simple story of Jesus' suffering, whatever else it may mean, has been the most blessed influence that has ever been witnessed in the world.
I remember the story of the brave policeman who went down into a large sinkhole in order to save a little child. Unfortunately, both he and the child lost their lives in his attempt. He didn't go into the hole knowing he would lose his life but believed there was an opportunity that he and the child would live through it.
Jesus, on the other hand, willingly accepted the way of the cross. Even though it meant certain death.
Oswald Chambers says that the veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony is the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. Because of what the Son of man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God. When you act in confident faith in what our Lord did on the cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place immediately. The proof that your old life is dead…is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.
Reference: Matt 26:36-46, Mark 14: 32-42, John 18:1 The Holy Bible