Truth On Fire

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Hours Without End

On the eve of his crucifixion, the Lord Jesus was just hours away from becoming “sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Father would be laying upon his Son “the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). An estimated 117 billion sons of Adam have inhabited the globe since the beginning of time. Jesus would bear the brunt of every wicked and perverted deed, thought and motive of all of those billions (and counting) during those hours he hung on the Cross. 

There is no way the human mind can comprehend the enormity of the spiritual collision that took place when the sinless Son of God incurred the wrath of God on our behalf for the sins of ALL humanity. That impending burden was beyond astronomical!

Matthew 26:36-45 records a prayer meeting where Jesus engaged his Father, sorrowful unto death (26:38), over “the cup” (26:39) that faced him. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, divinity now woven with humanity, anticipated in his flesh the trauma to come. He departed from the disciples, but took Peter, James and John with him, bidding them “WATCH WITH ME.” This was a rather profound invitation from the One who’d been WATCHING OVER them for the last three years. The One who had been bearing THEIR burdens was now asking them to share in the bearing of HIS by joining him in prayer.

But could they (especially Peter, who had rebuked him for predicting his death) grasp the significance of the hour? Three times Jesus removed himself, and returned to find them heavy-eyed and sleeping. 

There was just ONE ISSUE to be resolved—the Father’s will. And having resolved it with nothing less than sweat as it were drops of blood, Jesus concluded the prayer meeting. At one point, Jesus asked Peter: “What, could ye not WATCH WITH ME one hour?” (26:40), and followed with this universal truth: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (26:41). The struggle between WILLINGNESS and WEAKNESS is one we all deal with for a lifetime. But that struggle never existed within the Son of man. 

The question Jesus asked Peter is no longer applicable. We’re living on the other side of the Cross. There’s no need now for any man to WATCH WITH HIM. As the believer’s Mediator, Great High Priest and Advocate, it is Jesus who now desires to WATCH WITH US. 

Whereas Peter, James and John were WILLING but UNABLE to watch with Jesus for one hour, the Lord Jesus is ALWAYS willing and able to spend HOURS WITHOUT END watching with us. One of the greatest comforts to the child of God is to know his Lord, who once asked his disciples to WATCH WITH HIM for one hour, is WILLING and ABLE, from his throne in glory, to WATCH WITH US to the extent we give ourselves to prayer and cast OUR burdens upon HIM!


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