“Not My will…”

Last night as we read the account of Christ’s betrayal, crucifixion, and death at our Good Friday service, I was particularly struck by Christ’s willing submission to the will of the Father — a will that decreed that the Holy One take on sin and the attendant cup of God’s wrath.

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt. 26:39)

“My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Mt. 26:42)

This morning I read this in Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross:

Jesus does not just acquiesce to God’s sovereignty.  He doesn’t just shrug his shoulders and say, “Well, I guess God has allowed this terrible thing to happen.”  We do that sometimes, but not Jesus.  Jesus said, “God has caused and decreed this to happen.  This is in accordance with his holy will, which he has established before the foundation of the world.  I embrace it, because it is the will of my heavenly Father, and it is good.  It may be horrendous for me, but I willingly embrace it, because it is good for his people, and I love his people.  He has promised to give them to me if I lay down my life for them.”  Jesus reveled in the sovereignty of God, and he proclaims it even to the multitude of captors. [Ligon Duncan, “Betrayed, Denied, Deserted.”]

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