I had an experience this week that put me in mind of Jesus’s experience in the Garden of Gethsemane, a sleepless night where I needed to decide to lay aside a burden and let my reputation take a blow without raising a defense. I didn’t suffer nearly like He did, but it put me in great sympathy with Him.
Who is going to sit on the throne of our heart? Who is going to decide what we are going to do, who we are going to be, and what will become of us? It’s the same choice that Jesus wrestled to make when He said:
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
That night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus decided to turn men away from the course set for them by Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” and brought sin and death, Jesus partook of the “Tree of Life” when He allowed Himself to be placed on the Cross.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Like Johnny Cash, I believe that the Tree of Life and the Cross are one and the same, from it and from His side flows the living water out of which God will form His Bride (just like He did with Adam).
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
At the end of the matter when I went to do what was necessary I came to that verse where Jesus answered Pilate saying, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
And it is true. Nobody can berate us, diminish us, persecute us, revile us or condemn us except God has allowed for it to happen. It is for our good.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
We only get those blessings when we go through our own Garden and embrace that Tree (the Cross). And even though it is sheer misery their is a deep blessing in it, laying down our life and taking up His. Taking His light burden in place of our own impossible one.
Having a good brother in the Lord to share you burdens with is also an awesome thing, and I’m grateful for the my brothers and sisters. And also for God revealing much of what I’ve shared here through them.
Thanks CP and KH, (you know who you are).