The two most significant points of surrender, in all of human history, occur in a garden—the first in Eden’s paradise. In a moment of decision, the fatal choice was made. As we saw in yesterday’s post, the first couple surrendered to temptation and the consequences of that choice flow throughout human history.
Let’s prepare our hearts for Resurrection weekend by visiting a lonely grove of olive trees today.
Fast forward a few thousand years from the Genesis account to another garden. The world, no longer a paradise, groans under the weight of its fallen condition. We enter this garden in the dead of night and watch as the Son of Man returns to His familiar place of prayer, under an ancient grove of olive trees—the garden of “Gethsemane” which literally means “oil press.”
On this night the Son of Man will be pressed to the supreme place of surrender.
He confides to His closest friends, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me” (Matt. 26:38).
On this most bitter of nights, we watch Christ struggle with human passions—not sins. Sorrow’s intensity is crushing human frailty. Three times Jesus lifts the same request, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me . . .” Do you hear Him crying out?
Do you sense his deep dread?
This “cup” is God’s Old Testament symbol for divine wrath against sin.
Jesus’ agony is evident. Blood droplets pour from His anguished face. His mind isn’t on the mob’s fury. He isn’t cowering in fear of the religious leaders whose henchmen are approaching, or even the physical torments of the cross. No, His sorrow is focused on the cup.
In a few short hours, He will bear the full weight of divine wrath against sin. This is the cup that He must drink.
At the cross, the Righteous One, who has never committed sin, would experience the agony of sin being placed upon Himself. He would have the wrath of God poured out on Him. Jesus would bear the guilt and weight of my sin and yours (Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:28). He took our rightful place. He, who should not be condemned, took our condemnation.
His Gethsemane statement stands as our greatest example of surrender.
With sweat, tears, and blood freely flowing; He cries, “Father . . . not as I will, but as You will.”
From this garden, the Savior would rise to begin His final journey toward the cross. Sin would hold no power over this “second Adam,” as He yields to the Father’s will, He reverses the curse brought on by the first Adam.
Jesus’ surrender abolished death’s reign.
Revisit this garden often.
Never get over the wonder of His surrender!
Spend some time in Gethsemane with our Lord. Consider reading Matthew 26:20-50, and as you do, remind yourself of this choice that required such love, such devotion, such surrender.
What area of surrender is God asking of you?
How will you apply this post to your life today?