After three years of ministry, Jesus found himself nearing his death. The last time he was with his disciples before his execution was in the garden of Gethsemane. I believe this is where Jesus experienced his most vulnerable moment: for this was the moment before he would be taken and persecuted; he knew the moment was coming, and he feared it. He told his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John. He paused, then instructed the disciples he took with him to remain in their spot as he went farther and for them to watch him. Christ fell on his face, and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus returned to Peter, James, and John, after praying for an hour only to find them asleep. He woke them and told them to watch and pray, warning them not to enter into temptation, and reminding them the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Jesus left a second time to pray the same prayer: “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
After finishing his second prayer, Jesus returned to Peter, James, and John, and found them asleep once again! Yet, this time Jesus did not wake them. He went back to pray a third time with the same words, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
Not long after, Judas, a disciple of Christ, arrived with a multitude of people who sought to put Christ to death. Jesus was taken to Caiaphas the high priest, tried in an unjust court, and found guilty of blasphemy when a high priest told Jesus, “Tell us if you are the Christ,” and Jesus answered, saying, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Jesus was mocked, whipped, beaten and battered. A crown of thorns was forced upon his head as Roman soldiers declared him “King of the Jews.” Jesus was forced to carry a cross from Jerusalem to Golgotha, which was just over a quarter-mile journey! Christ could not carry the cross on his own, as heavy as it was; Simon, a Cyrene, was assigned to help him carry the cross. Upon that cross Jesus hung and died.
Jesus followed the will of the Father all his life, and following his Father’s will led to his death. Jesus asked for a way other than dying on a cross to save all humanity, but there was no other way. Jesus drank the cup before him. Thank God that Christ drank that cup, so sinners can look to Christ for salvation: for Christ rose from the dead as he promised, conquering death for all Christians.
The Christian life is uncomfortable. Christianity is opposed throughout the world. There are people in the world who wish to ignore Christians, who wish to silence Christians, and some would go far enough to kill Christians. Yet, amidst the persecution Christians face, God has a calling for each of his children. The calling he has for all Christians differs one from another, but each calling has similar parts which apply to every single member of Christ; Romans 12:2 (ESV): “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect;” Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV): “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
You, as a Christian, are called to be separate from the world, not conformed to it. You are called to be transformed by the renewal of your mind: for when you accepted Christ into your heart, and became a believer, you were reborn; the old man of the world died, and the new man in Christ was born. You are called to be a light of the world; as a Christian, you are to illuminate the light of Christ which has been placed in you: for you are a lighthouse designed to help those who are lost find Christ. Your actions represent Christ to the unbeliever, and it is imperative to represent Christ properly.
As I said before, the world, more so than not, does not like Christians. Many people hope for the death of Christianity; their hearts are hardened to the truth because they love their sin and refuse anything which goes against their perverse nature. You will face times when you will either choose standing up for your faith—for the truth—or be silent. You will face times when you stand up for the truth, and you will be ridiculed for it. You will not be liked by most men. Since your flesh is weak, there will be times when you will pray as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane, “Lord, let this cup pass from me!” On your face you will beg and plead that prayer with streams of tears, but, since your spirit is willing, you will always end your prayer saying, “Not my will, but your will be done.”
Stand for the truth. Stand for Christ. His will be done.