Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE POINT OF DEATH


Among the many things that Isaiah 53 prophesied about Christ's sacrifice for humanity, a few stand out -
  • "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,...he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."

If you have ever seen the movie The Green Mile, I imagine Christ's taking up and baring our pain and suffering much like how Michael Clarke Duncan's character John Coffey dealt with people's sins and struggles. The exception to my imagination would be - Jesus did not start to manifest all that He was absorbing until the night at the Garden.

The sorrow and anguish Jesus Christ started taking upon His mind, body, and spirit for the world in the Garden of Gethsemane was almost enough to bypass The Cross.  Matthew 26:38 says,
  • "Then He said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.' "
Jesus was in so much agony that He does not simply kneel and pray to His Father, He lies stretched out on His front-side with His face to the ground, passionately crying out for another way to accomplish His mission. Matthew 26:39 records this fervent cry -
  • "Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.' "
Jesus not only does this once, but a total of three times. After the third plea, the Gospel of Luke records an angel is sent to strengthen Jesus. Why? Not only so that He could endure more, but that Scriptures may be fulfilled that He endured it all.
  • An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. - Luke 22:43-44
With the condition of fallen creation and fallen man bearing down on His redeeming shoulders, it is no wonder Jesus asked His Father three times for a pass on this one.

Even though the point of death came in the Garden of Gethsemane, I am truly thankful it was postponed until The Cross. The price was Paid In Full. Christ fulfilled His prophetic words about Himself. Jesus dotted every "i" of His Word, crossed every "t" of His Word as He fulfilled every letter of the law beyond The Point Of Death in the Garden to dying upon The Cross.