The story of Jesus praying the night before His crucifixion is one that tends to stick with a person. Then Jesus went with His followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and he began to be very sad and troubled. He said to them, “My heart is full of sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” After walking a little farther away from them, Jesus fell to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cup of suffering. But do what You want, not what I want.” Then Jesus went back to His followers and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “You men could not stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak.” Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this painful thing to be taken from me, and if I must do it, I pray that what you want will be done.” (Matthew 26: 36-42, NCV)

Any follower of Christ has considered the anguish He went through just knowing what was coming. To me, the very fact the the Son of God prayed to be released from this is more than enough indication of His humanness…it was certainly not something He wanted to go through. When Jesus returned to Peter, James and John and said to them that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, I doubt He was speaking just about them. But in the end He gave Himself over to the will of God the Father. “I pray that what You want will be done.” Have you ever wondered in awe at His faithfulness to the Father and His plan? It can leave a person heavy-hearted and near tears.

In The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel he spells out, in graphic detail, what Jesus’ body went through during the crucifixion. It is unimaginable that one human being could inflict that kind of pain and suffering on another. And it is no wonder a person could not live through it. What intense love Jesus had for the Father, and what indescribable love they had for us to go through with this plan to save humanity.

Something caused me to pause during the night. As I lay in bed and each torturous act of the crucifixion went through my mind, it occurred to me that Jesus didn’t give in to the Father’s will just that one time in Gethsemane. He had the power of God in Him. At any time during the process, He could have stopped the whole thing and walked away. But He didn’t. With every fist to His face, He surrendered to the Father’s will. Each time the whip with stones and pieces of glass struck His back and tore flesh from His body, He surrendered to the will of the Father. When the spikes were driven into His wrists, rendering his hands useless and sending excruciating pain all the way up His arm, He surrendered to the will of the Father. When His weakened legs pushed His body up, bearing the weight on the spikes driven into His feet, just so that He could take a ragged breath, He surrendered to the will of the Father. As He breathed His last breath, He surrendered. I wonder at what point I would have said, “Enough!”

I don’t think the words to the old hymn do Him justice, but it is all that is in my heart right now.
“Oh how He loves you and me. Oh how He loves you and me. He gave His life. What more could He give. Oh how He loves you. Oh how He loves me. Oh how He loves you and me.”

God bless you all!