April 3

A blank cheque
For reading & meditation: Luke 22:39-48
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (v. 42)

We have seen over the past two days how Jesus, when faced with the news that some Greeks wanted to interview Him, appeared to be precipitated into a spiritual crisis. Whatever we make of this incident in the life of our Lord, it is fairly obvious that some deep struggle is going on inside Him. And the terms of that struggle are also clear: "What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour" (John 12:27). This passage in John 12 underlines most powerfully the humanity of Jesus. We see Him recoiling for a moment and only for a moment - from the grim ordeal that He was about to face on Calvary, but He comes through to reaffirm His unswerving commitment to His Father's eternal will and purpose. Note once again the truth that seemed to sustain Him in this dark and crucial hour: "I must fall and die like a grain of wheat that falls between the furrows of the earth. Unless I die I will be alone - a single seed. But my death will produce many new wheat grains - a plentiful harvest of new lives" (John 12:23-24, TLB). He gave a blank cheque to God signed in His own blood. He would fall into the ground and die and bear a rich and bountiful harvest. He aligned Himself with self-giving and not self-saving. The momentous issue with which our Lord struggled in that hour is similar to the one which you and I are being called to face in these meditations - to die or not to die. The way we respond to it will determine our life-direction.
Father, I sense that quietly things are heading toward a moment of crisis in my life - a crisis of commitment. Help me to see these things, not merely as a matter for discussion, but a matter for decision. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was God's will for His Son?
2. How did Jesus respond?