40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Five: Tuesday)

Tuesday

Confession: Psalm 95:6–9

Come in, let us worship and bow down;

let us kneel before Yahweh, our maker.

For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture

and the sheep of his hand.

Today if you will hear his voice:

“Do not harden your heart as at Meribah,

as in the day of Massah in the wilderness,

when your ancestors tried me.

They put me to the test,

even though they had seen my work.”

Reading: Mark 14:32–42

And they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took along Peter and James and John with him, and he began to be distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” And going forward a little he fell to the ground and began to pray that, if it were possible, the hour would pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you! Take away this cup from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Were you not able to stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same thing. And again he came and found them sleeping, for they could not keep their eyes open, and they did not know what to reply to him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us go! Behold, the one who is betraying me is approaching!”

Reflection

With eternal foresight, and with lifelong, fond intention, our glorious Saviour entered into His passion. “I come to do your will, O my God.” That will was that He—Jesus, the Son of Man, God of God, the Holy One—should pass through and feel, as if it were His own. He experienced the torment and the horror of all sin in expiation of the crimes of the whole world. “And He began to be exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” O Jesus, we bow down our hearts before your sacred heart, which, in the garden, alone, cried out to heaven with the agony God laid upon it. “See if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow.” We adore that dear, submissive heart, burning with love for God and man, but wrung with anguish, sweating drops of blood.

—Bernard of Clairvaux

Saint Bernard on the Love of God

Response

Christ remained obedient to the Father in all things, even leading up to His death. Write a prayer of thanks for Christ’s obedient sacrifice in the space below.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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