"My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death..." Mark 14:34 (NLT)
How God moved my heart as I sat with His Word yesterday morning! I opened to Mark Chapter 14 and read these words:
"He [Jesus] took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, 'My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.'"
In this scene, Mark describes Jesus' intense anguish as He contemplates the next step in His earthly journey...death on a cross. Jesus' emotions, deeply distressed and troubled, come from the Greek word "ekthambeo" which means, "to throw into terror; to alarm thoroughly." Scholars believe that in this moment the devil visibly prowled around Jesus. He was desperate to stop Jesus, to drive Him to despair, to steal His hope and belief in the goodness and faithfulness of His Father. Satan needed victory. If he failed, and Jesus walked in obedience to the Father's will, Satan would be vanquished forever! What a powerful moment in Scripture. When God's Word tells us Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, our Lord and Savior knows first hand!!
Jesus' words, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death, reveal that He fully knew He was about to endure the sin of all mankind. The King James version says, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful," which is from the Greek word "perilupos" which means "deeply grieved." Jesus, who knew no sin was made sin for us. His Father, our God, is perfect in every way. Jesus knew that when He took upon the sin of the world, His Father would have to turn His back on Him. He could not look upon His own Son. The weight of that sin crushed our Lord.
Sweet friends, as I read these words anew, I sat on my bed amazed at what my Savior did for me. Not very often do I deeply ponder the agony Christ suffered before He went to the cross. I asked myself, do I feel this agony for my own sin? Am I exceedingly sorrowful for my own sin? I think not. Shamefully, I realize that I rotely confess my sin, but I do not know if I ever appreciated as much as I did yesterday morning the absolute gravity of my sin and the incredible gift given me that day at Calvary.
I invite you to sit with these verses today. Drink them in. Sear them into your heart. May we never forget the sacrifice made by our precious Savior.
Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. I praise You and thank You for the gift You have given me through Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, thank You for struggling that day in Gethsemane. Thank You for standing strong against the evil one, for loving me, for loving us, so much that You would endure such anguish and sorrow. I am so sorry for not living a life worthy of what You did for me that day. Keep my heart tender and ever aware of Your immense sacrifice. Keep me close to Your heart, show me my sin. Give me a repentant heart when I see my sin. Wash me with Your love, fill me with Your Truth, and draw me ever closer to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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to share your thoughtsApplication Steps:
As you finish reading today, don't just close the window and move on. Sit a few minutes with the Lord. Press into Him. Ask Him to show you the places in your heart that grieve Him. Surrender those places to Him at the foot of the cross. Claim the incredible gift of forgiveness given you at Calvary. Receive the freedom of that forgiveness and walk in the joy of that freedom!Reflections:
God's Word is living and active, meant to speak to you today. Read the Easter story with fresh eyes. Invite the Lord to "open the eyes of your heart" that you may see wonderful new Truths this Easter. Write a prayer thanking Him for the new Truths He reveals to you.
Isaiah 53:3b-6, "We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down...But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins! He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all." (NLT)
Ephesians 1:18-21, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." (NLT)
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