April 1 Hebrews 5:5-10
Did God the Father and Jesus have a little planning session before Christmas Eve?
“Ok, now’s the time for Emmanuel. You’ll go down, be born as a lowly baby, grow up in all the entanglements of the world, but you stay perfect, and then for seemingly no reason, they’ll kill you — horribly — but don’t worry, you’ll come to life again, and we’ll have beaten Satan for good. How’s that sound?”
Jesus replies somewhat hesitatingly, “Well, ok, if that is the way it has to be…”
Then what happened in the garden? Why the “loud cries and tears” v. 7?
The Bible doesn’t say what really went on in heaven, but it does show Jesus on earth. He was the Son of God and “learned obedience” v. 8 while he was on earth. That forces me to ask myself how much more obedience must I need to learn from my sufferings? And obedience to what? The laws and the prophets? Jesus did that and became “high priest in the order of Melchizedek” v. 10. A different priest with different rules.
I sometimes long for rules laid-out and clear. Those kinds of rules soothe my check-the-box religiosity. These new rules involve inexplicable suffering, asking fervently and frequently for help in life, and honoring God with trust for whatever happens. Not the check-the-box kind of rules. I am comforted by the knowledge that the long list of rules is not my list. It seems rather that a loving, compassionate Jesus holds my list, and I’m sure it looks much different from yours. He, instead, holds out his hand and invites me to follow his lead.
Jesus: “Come along.”
Me: “Where are you going?”
Jesus: “Does it matter?”
No, I guess it doesn’t.
And I trust I’ll find out later what really happened in heaven.
Lord, sometimes following you is so much harder than following rules. Please let me know you are here and remind me of the joy that only you bestow.