I don’t know about you but I get up every morning now and I wonder what day it is. I don’t mean what date is it.... there’s nothing unusual in that, I forget the date all the time. No, I mean what day is it? Today’s Thursday, right? It must be I’ve written it at the top of the page. You see that’s what happens when our routine is completely wiped out and one day becomes much like another and there are no marker points through the week. I heard a psychologist on television some time ago and she said that we should try to create a routine and stick to it. So tomorrow, if it’s been your habit of late to lie on in bed get up at the normal time, get out of those pyjamas and GET DRESSED. All joking aside, approaching the end of “lockdown” week 3 and it’s beginning to go beyond bizarre and is becoming tedious. BUT STICK AT IT!
Over the last couple of days, if you’ve noticed, journalists have been asking government ministers if there is an “exit strategy” to end the lockdown and that will become increasingly important as the mortality rate peaks and begins to decline though we may be some way short of that yet. It struck me though in reading Mark 14:32-42 that there is a complete absence of an exit strategy. Where you and I would most probably slink off into the darkness and beat a hasty retreat back to Nazareth that’s not on the radar.
Hold on you say, didn’t Jesus just ask for a get out clause, what about verse 36? Got you there!!! Do you think so? “Yet not what I will but what you will.” doesn’t seem to be very effective as an exit strategy. Sounds more like obedience, submission to his Father’s will to me! In fact even when he comes back a third time to find his “mighty men” sleeping through tiredness they waken to his voice announcing the hour (time) has come. Even then “Rise let us go! V42 isn’t a plan of escape they are words of acceptance he rises to meet his betrayer, and the arresting authorities. It’s heart breaking, or would be if we stopped long enough to think about it, weren’t so familiar with the story and so blasé about it all. Think about this, why did he do it?
Well the author of the letter to the Hebrews has an answer to that 12:2 “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” What was the joy? The joy of doing the Father’s will, the joy of rescuing sinners, or as the writer put it in 2:10 “bringing many sons to glory”; perhaps the joy of his glory restored but restored through the cross. From the cross there was no exit strategy!
Lord, today as I confront the cross and see behind it my sin, give me eyes to see Jesus in the garden, ears to hear his plea, the sense to recognise the love that took him and held him there. Lord in mercy melt my cold heart and fill it with love for you and joy in my Saviour. In Jesus perfect name I pray. Amen
Where you there (Fernando Ortega ) & My worth is not in what I own (Kristyn Getty)