Continued from last week
(Jesus’ New Commandment – John 13:34; John 15:12-14)
…”if any man will come after me, let him deny himself (sacrifice himself) and take up his cross and follow me.”
The “cup” is the cross-bearing that all of us must experience. It is neither sickness, poverty, or the lack. Excluding abusive co-dependent living, the cross is loving unconditionally and voluntarily sacrificing for Jesus and others. It’s loving the unloveable and those who are difficult to love.
The cross is the bitter cup of a voluntary action on our part that we choose to do because it is the right thing to do. It is the Jesus thing to do. It may cause agony to our spirit, but bearing our crosses will put muscles in our souls and build character for on High.
Yes, all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are His loving disciples. All the world will know us by our love for one another. They will know we are Christians by our love.
We pick up the cross and follow Jesus. “Bear the Cross, Ye Sons and Daughters of Men” – Going into all the world, teaching, preaching, healing and witnessing for Jesus. Jesus says, do it for Him, do it for Him.
On Maundy Thursday Night when He was betrayed, Jesus prayed three agonizing prayers concerning the “cup.” He and three of His disciples, Peter and James and John, his brother, were in the Garden of Gethsemane. This was Jesus’ inner circle.
The 1st Prayer: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this “cup” pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
The 2nd Prayer: “O my Father, if this “cup” may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.”
The 3rd Prayer: …”(He) prayed the third time saying the same words.”
(Matt 26: 36-46)
When Jesus had finished praying, He had pulled His humanity up under His Divinity and He was ready to go to the cross.
I refer to these three prayers as the “Nevertheless” and “Thy will be done” prayers. There are times in our lives when storms of life keep on raging, and the bitter cup must be drunk, that we cry out to Abba Father in agonizing pain-wrenching, “will of the Father prayers.” For there is no where for us to go in our own strength and will, but to the Lord.
This breaking down of self-will (“not my will but thine be done”) is necessary for us to attain higher planes of soul evolution; thereby allowing the Holy Spirit to flow into the physical body.
Amen. (Oh, Yes)
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Next Week: The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ