The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).
Was it possible for the cup of sorrow, pain, forsakenness, and death to have passed from the Lord Jesus Christ? In one sense, yes. "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). The Father could have easily dispatched a powerful company of His host to dispatch His enemies and deliver His Son. Indeed, regarding capability, there is nothing God cannot do. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" asked the angel rhetorically (Genesis 18:14). "Nothing!" declares the Word of God authoritatively. "Thou canst do everything" (Job 42:2).
However, our Lord's ways are governed not by His capability, but by His character and nature. Who He is presently and forever determines what He does. This is Doctrine 101 of Scripture. This is also Doctoral Dissertation 701, the glory of which can never be fully fathomed and expressed.
"Thou art good and doest good" (Psalm 119:168).
Note the sequence, which cannot be altered: "Art good and doest good." First character, then capability (a reading of I Corinthians 13 in this light yields great insight). This principle governs everything God performs. Thus, there are many things God cannot do, such as rescue the Lord Jesus from the cross of Calvary. "God… cannot lie" declared the Apostle Paul (Titus 1:2). Had it been possible for the Father to send delivering angels to Calvary, hundreds of Old Testament prophecies would have been unfulfilled, capability would have trumped character, and God would have ceased to be who He is (all impossibilities, of course).
Along with doctrine and dissertation, a powerful in the moment truth stands before us. Sometimes the things we prayerfully desire our Heavenly Father to perform, while never beyond His ability, are contradictory to His attributes. Just as His character made impossible the deliverance of His beloved Son from the cross, so our Father cannot always act in ways we desire. God's impeccable righteousness may preclude our immediate rescue. In love, He always acts according to the glory of Christ and the best interests of creation. Thus, His hand defers to His heart, as it were, and He works according to His spiritual and moral perfection rather than sentimentality (this constitutes perhaps the best definition of holiness, by the way, a subject for another time).
Rightly considered, nothing should more thrill us about our wondrous God. If even once, He acted in opposition to His nature, all hope for created beings would instantly dissolve. We therefore fall before Him in grateful awe for the things He cannot do as well as the things He can. Again, in God, character governs capability. Always. Forever. In this moment…
"Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty!" (note, first "holy, holy, holy," then almighty).
Weekly Memory Verse
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."