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Sabbath, June 23, 2012

O My Father...

A number of days ago, while before the throne of grace in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord brought the following thought upon my mind.  With the thought came perfect peace.  I wish now to share that thought with you.  May the peace of God accompany it toward you now, as it did then toward me.

“O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)  Jesus lay on the ground in the garden of Gethsemane under a crushing burden.  His soul was “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matthew 26:38)  He was beginning to experience the wages of sin for every individual (Hebrews 2:9).  Every fiber of His humanity resisted drinking this cup, so much that “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)  Yet, His prayer was, “Not My will, but Thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Oh, the love of Christ for a fallen, dying world!  The unimaginable agony He endured to secure for us a place in Heaven.  He “who for the joy that was set before Him”—for you and for me—“endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2)  What infinite love!  Let us ever keep before us the sacrifice that our Lord and Saviour made for us and the love that He has for each one of us.  But, let’s not stop there.  Remember, Christ prayed: “Thy will be done.”  What was the Father’s will? 

It was the Father’s will that His only begotten Son—of whom the Father spake, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17)—would drink the cup of His wrath toward sin.  What love God has for the human race!  What unselfish, sacrificing love!  It was the Father’s will that Jesus Christ—who from the days of eternity dwelt in His Father’s bosom (John 1:18)—would experience the eternal separation the unrepentant sinner must endure.  It was the Father’s will that Jesus Christ—by whom He created the heavens and earth (Hebrews 1:2)—would be subject to the most humiliating treatment by the hands of His creatures.  It was the Father’s will that Jesus Christ—“holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26)—would be “numbered with the transgressors” and nailed to a cross in so shameful a manner (Isaiah 53:12).  It was the Father’s will that Jesus drink the cup so “that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26)  It was the Father’s will that Jesus drink the cup that He might “dwell with [us], and [we] shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with [us], and be [our] God.” (Revelation 21:3)  It was the Father’s will so that even now He might dwell in us, as it is written, “God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

Both the Father and the Son are cooperating in the plan of salvation.  The sacrifice of Christ was not to appease God’s anger toward us.  If God was angry toward us, wouldn’t it seem logical that He would leave us to perish rather than sacrifice “His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)?  If God is doing His best to keep us from the kingdom of Heaven, wouldn’t it have been easier to withhold His Son from us?  Yet, the same Jesus whom God the Father received into glory and who is now at God’s right hand was given to this wicked race to free us from the penalty and the power of sin so that those who believe in Him "should not perish, but have everlasting life."

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood,

From Thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

Cleanse me from its guilt and power.”

Let us study the life of Jesus Christ that we may learn also of the Father who “Himself loveth you” (John 16:27).  Jesus declares, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)  Looking upon Jesus, we see God our Father gathering a child into His arms (Mark 9:36); we see Him forgiving a woman caught in adultery (John 8:11); we see Him eating “with publicans and sinners” (Mark 2:16); we see Him healing the sick and the suffering.  We see our Heavenly Father forgiving those who are killing Him (Luke 23:34).

The Father Himself loveth you.  “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) 

Ask yourself this question: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)  God Himself has the answer for you: “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3) 

Rejoice! for God is love.

(Another editorial from the archives... In the "Documents" section of this website, you will find a poem with the same title as this blog post that was inspired by the above thought.  I hope you are blessed in the reading of it.)

Blog written by: Lee Folkman

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