Monday, September 22, 2014


    In the garden of Gethsemane, the agonized Lord Jesus Christ experienced the most powerful temptation ever known by a human being, leading Him to beseech His Father, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me" (Matthew 26:39).  

    The cup bore the approaching wrath of God that would fall upon our Savior as He bore our sins on the cross of Calvary.  Isaiah makes mention of "the cup of My fury" in reference to Israel, foreshadowing the day when the Father, for our sakes, would smite His beloved Son with untold sorrow and forsakenness (Isaiah 51:22).  Little wonder that the Son who had eternally known only His Father's infinite love would be tempted to seek deliverance from such heartbreaking loss.  "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand" declared the Lord Jesus at an earlier time during His ministry (John 3:35).  On the cross, however, Divine fury would replace love, along with the greatest loss ever known by a human heart - "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).

   The Savior overcame the temptation of Gethsemane, coming forth from the garden to proclaim, "The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11).  He drank to the full, and was thus "stricken, smitten of God, afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4).  In so doing, He walked a path of temptation far more difficult than any challenge we will ever face.  Never will we feel conflicting emotion or inclination that compares with our Lord's yearning to avoid His Father's wrath.  Doubtless everything in His tender soul longed to remain in the Divine favor.  But everything in His trusting spirit longed to obey - "I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29).  He followed the latter path, to the eternal praise of His Name, and He now dwells in those who believe to enable our faithfulness during trials of temptation.  "No temptation hath overtaken you but such as is common to man.  But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape" - "I am the way" (I Corinthians 10:13; John 14:6; emphasis added).

    By definition, temptation always involves the sense and feeling of desire for things contrary to God's will.  One cannot be enticed to do that which is foreign to inclination.  Temptation, however, is not sin.  Thus, the Lord Jesus could be tempted to experience desire for escape from His Father's wrath despite the fact of the cross being the most necessary component - along with the resurrection - of God's redemptive purposes in His Son - "Christ must needs have suffered" (Acts 17:3).  He submitted to His Father's will, as He did throughout His earthly lifetime, and obeyed.  Thus, we look to Him in times of temptation as the One who walked the same challenging path upon which we tread, and as the One who now lives in us by His Spirit to enable our faith and faithfulness.  He traveled the way of challenge, and now He is our "way to escape"…

"We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come bold unto the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and to find grace to help in time of need."
(Hebrews 4:15-16)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
(James 6:1)

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