Words from the Heart for Monday April 10th, 2017
He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Mark 14:35-36 (NKJV)
Take This Cup Away
Soon before His betrayal Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. For hours He agonized over what was just ahead for Him in the crucifixion, yet He stays with His ultimate decision to do the Father’s will at all costs: “…nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Those of you who live in cities and larger towns, where firefighters are paid by the local government, might be surprised to learn that 90% of Canadian communities are served by volunteer firefighters. More than 89,000 well trained volunteers are ready, 24 hours a day, to come to the aid of their neighbour in case of fire and other emergencies. The men and women who race out the door when the call comes in are regular citizens, with day jobs, and families, and commitments. And above most of their commitments, they often hold their position as Volunteer Firefighters near the top of the priority list. They knowingly take great risks, give up time and freedoms, and choose at times to put their family second in order to help another family in need.
If you have visited the Mount of Olives outside of Jerusalem, you know that there are many places to visit these days. There are churches and cemeteries, rocks and ridges, wells and walls. And a garden, filled with century old olive trees. The word Gethsemane means oil press and it was an appropriate place for Jesus to deal with God’s call on His life and His own will. This was a place of pressing for Jesus. Mark 14:35-36 says “He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”” In Jesus’ day, the olive was pressed three times. The first oil, which was what we call extra virgin, was the purest and was used in Temple worship. The oil from the second press was used for eating and cooking. And oil from the third press, which was most impure, was used for lighting. When Jesus went to the Garden of pressing, three times He prayed, and each time there was a pressing. We can’t begin to imagine the depth of Jesus’ agony in that Garden, but how grateful that when the pressing was over, all that was necessary for our salvation would be accomplished. He was pressed for you and for me.
These have been words from the heart.