Sunday, April 1, 2012

God in Humanity

I was reading a portion of the Gospel according to Mark this morning. In chapter 14 Mark related the episode of Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane. As I reflected on the prayer in verse 36 became my focus. "Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." Most folks look at this as evidence of Jesus submission to the Father. They, therefore, jump to apply it to us. We must submit to the Father. However, I noticed something else. For the first time, at least as far as I know, Jesus will was something other than the Father's. Up to this point Jesus had taught, healed, delivered and done everything as he saw the Father doing these things. His practice was in harmony with the will of the Father. But now, at the beginning of his passion, there is an apparent difference emerging. Jesus' total identification with humanity was being revealed. Jesus' will was that the cup would be taken from him. This cup that contained loneliness, separation from friends and family, loss, pain, humiliation, death. He experienced anxiety and fear. He tasted "self" as a person. This would culminate in a few hours on the cross as Jesus' identification with humanity was complete: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken my?" Just as Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and countless others had experienced the reality of separation between humanity and divinity, Jesus, totally immersed in his humanity, cried out his anguish to God. This is the human condition. The difference lay in Jesus' response, "Yet not what I will, but what you will." I am glad that the one who sits at the right hand of God, the one who will judge, is also one with me.

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