To each there comes an hour (or hours) when everything truly important is at risk. You may remember that earlier this week we pondered such an hour in Jacob’s life. Today we see Jesus facing another such moment.
Jacob, alone, wrestled with “a man” (Gen 32:24). Jesus, alone and sprawled upon the ground, wrestles with his beloved Abba, Father (v. 36). His life has reached its breaking point.
Intuitive souls know about such hours. When career, reputation, integrity, family, security, life, faith—when all is on the line. When the wide and narrow ways divide.
Jesus doesn’t want or seek this “hour” any more than we do. He prays for it to pass, for this cup to be removed (v. 36). Our Lord knows the crucible of costly decisions—the knots in the stomach, the yearning to dodge the bullet and pretend it will go away. Jesus is no stranger here. He walked this lonesome valley. Yet his ultimate desire is not what I want, but what you want (v. 36).
To shrink back from what God wants is, of course, to ultimately lose everything truly important. Jesus realizes this. So do I, theoretically. I can even write devotionals about it! The point, however, is doing what God wants.
Paul said that “no testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone,” and assures us, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength,” even providing a way out (1 Cor 10:13). What he doesn’t say, but Jesus demonstrates, is that sometimes that way out passes through Golgotha.
What “hours” have you already met? Is there an “hour” you are avoiding?
Jesus, faithful unto death, help your fearful child not to run from the cross but to accept it as the way that leads to life. Amen.