(from March 20, 2008)
This is one of those days when my emotions are at a 10 and my words at a 5. Words are so inadequate at times to me, yet they are my only tool, my only gift to convey my heart. On Thursday, we remember and celebrate our Lord’s institution of the Last Supper. The Feast of the Passover was fulfilled in Christ’s most holy work on the Cross, as He became the one sufficient Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, for sinners, crucified.
He showed us in His heart-felt way a new command. Love one another. As He took His disciples through the Passover meal, He showed them His moment for which He came was about to be fulfilled in a few hours. They ate, and He explained each of the four cups of the Passover meal, “”I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take (the ingathering)” It celebrated their deliverance, and, on that holy night, Jesus Himself fulfilled the third cup of suffering to redeem His people. Feel the fullness of His emotions as He showed them the final hours of His journey on earth.As they finished dinner, they sang. Can you imagine? They sang. Jesus sang. It is believed that they were singing the songs (psalms of ascent) as Jesus walked to his destiny in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of the songs was Psalm 118. “This is the Day that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I get chills thinking this was the day set from the beginning for Christ to fulfill and He walked into it singing praises to His God. The cross ever before Him, he sang, This is the Day for which I came down from Heaven. This is the day I save the world from eternal darkness. And yet, in this human frail body, He was scared and grieved, but He sang.
I will never forget the tears that welled in my eyes as I saw my daughter’s pictures of a trip to Israel. I stopped cold as I saw a picture of where my own daughter stood a stone’s throw away from where Jesus prayed in those wee hours of the morning, a heart-wrenching prayer to His Father. Gethsemane is the most beautiful place—a real garden where the Lord of Life knelt and prayed his heart to the Lord, If there is any chance, could you deliver me from this third cup of suffering? But not as I will, but Your Will be done. If there were any other way for God to save His people don’t you know at that point He would have gathered His Son unto Him and said, “That’s it. I can’t bear it.” Either of them could have abandoned the plan, at any moment, but they didn’t. It was always the plan from the foundation of the world.
And our Lord is ever faithful. He loved the world so much He was willing to do the hardest thing He had done, and bring more love into the world in those hours than anyone had ever or has since known. The greatest gift of all—redemption of the world, redemption of life. The price was paid. He was fully aware of the agony that He would endure, but the Cross was ever before Him.
Can we not watch with Him an hour? Can we not pray for the world to come to Him for such a price? Can we not weep as we see our Savior go through His darkest hour on our behalf? In that Garden, soon a betrayal, and the very Hour will come of our redemption.