NOT OUT OF OBLIGATION BUT LOVE

“And He came out and went, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”” Luke 22:39-46

With our recent events, it can be so hard to remember the reality of what Jesus went through for us - how God came into our humanity to take our sins and give us new life in HIM. This week we are reminded of the rapid change of events when Jesus was welcomed as people cried, “Hosanna” who would also soon shout, “Crucify Him!”

Our Jesus, fully man and fully God, faced so much leading up to the cross. God’s given us this glimpse in the account of Luke to try to understand the weight Jesus felt. So many different emotions: agony, stress, frustration, and - ultimately - surrender. He knew what needed to be done, but He was still honest with His Father. And when He asked his closest friends to be with Him, they fell asleep. I can’t imagine what Jesus was feeling. Even in our own human understanding, none of us truly can.

And still, Jesus chose to fulfill the Father’s will.

Not out of obligation, but out of LOVE.

Jesus’ love for His Father is an outpouring of the Father’s heart for His creation. FOR US! And in His love for US, He gave us HIS SON.

Why? Why would He choose to give up His one and only Son to face not only excruciating pain, but the separation from His Father.

LOVE. A love that we cannot fully grasp or understand.

And all God is asking of us is to receive it.

Since the beginning of time He was making a way for us to be with Him again. The Love of the Holy God who looked down on His beautiful creation and desired for us to be with HIM again. For us to repent from our sins and run into the arms of our Father. For us to repent and receive new life. For us to now walk in the new life and victory of JESUS CHRIST.

In His love for us, Jesus became our reconciliation to the Father. And today - as hard as it is being in this time of quarantine, away from our families, separated, not knowing what is going to happen next - let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Jesus, knowing exactly how we may be feeling these last weeks.

As days lead up to Good Friday and Easter, let us look back on that day, the day when Jesus revealed His love towards us through His dying on the cross and resurrection, and choosing to fulfill the Father’s will.

Not out of obligation, but out of LOVE.

~Sarah Sendejas


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