The night Jesus was betrayed he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked the Father three times if “this cup” could pass from him; yet not his will but the will of the Father be done.
It’s like Jesus was asking- “Is there any other way to save mankind?”
The crucifixion has been portrayed in films and it’s not hard to see the brutality and barbarity of it. I cringe while watching, even close my eyes. But closing my eyes does not make reality go away. Jesus was not a stranger to the Romans or their ways. He foresaw the physical pain which was coming and the emotional pain which would come from being deserted by friends and hated by enemies.
When thinking about this night of anguish I am found to be a woman more in love with Jesus than ever. I will never know love more deeply than through the One who died so I might live. And so Jesus praying and asking his Father if there was any other way mankind might be saved seems fitting.
Was there another way? Did Jesus really have to die for my sins?
From historical accounts we know Jesus went through with the plan of God for the salvation of mankind. And so the Father’s answer “There is no other way”, was not cruel just true. For grace (the free gift of salvation which we do not deserve) to meet justice (sins which must be dealt with and forgiven) blood had to be shed. The blood of Jesus’, the perfect lamb, would pay the price forever so man’s sins would be forgiven and the bridge between God and man would be open again.
Maybe somewhere along the line of your life you’ve asked the same kind of question as Jesus did. Or maybe you know someone struggling with another similar question, “Can I be saved apart from Christ? Is there any other way?”
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” John 10:9 NIV
Now all of us (Jews and Gentiles) can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. Ephesians 2:18 NLT my parenthesis
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ISV
From these verses we see the answer , “No, there is no other way.” Again, God’s answer to the world is not cruel just true.
Christ is the door to salvation and to the Father. No one is saved apart from Him. No one may stand in the presence of the Father apart from Christ. Without the covering of Christ, our sins would leave us naked, and we would be consumed by the holiness of God.
A long time ago I was the one struggling to come to God without Christ. Just prior to my conversion I hated Christ, yet thought I knew God. I know hate may be a strong word but I hated the person of Christ. I recoiled and closed up at even the mention of His name. I was even so bold to pray asking God for my then boyfriend, future husband, to stop talking about Jesus so I wouldn’t have to hear his name anymore.
Why did I feel this way? I didn’t want to hear about Jesus because my world was crashing in around me. And this just because of the Name of Jesus! No one can truly come to Christ without seeing themselves as a pitiful. I was being confronted to change my being. This internal sight can cause us to recoil and our very own soul begins to fight against our spirit to keep control.
As you can imagine I didn’t like coming face to face with my religiosity. I just wanted to go to church and live my life- the way I wanted to! I didn’t want anything about my life to change. I didn’t want this Jesus but I did want God. Sound funny?
It’s not really. I’m not alone in the way I used to think. We want God – we really do but we want a god who doesn’t require allegiance from our entire being. We want a god who is silent except to speak what we want to hear. Nice words, pithy words, yet without any power to heal, to restore or save.
We want to close our eyes and pretend we didn’t see the horror of who we really are without a true relationship with God. But closing our eyes to the singleness of Jesus Christ being the only way into eternity with God doesn’t make it any less of a reality.
Jesus was very clear when speaking. His every word was profound and true and cut through the souls he spoke to then and to us now.
“Love is happy with the truth”.1 Corinthians 13:6 NLV
God is happy with the truth. Only He can tell you the truth about who you are and who you can be – In Him.
He is the Way and I pray you are walking with Him.
He is the Truth and I pray your soul responds to Him.
He is the Life and I pray your spirit be found in Him.
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