Words of Hope: Thy Will Be Done

Dad loved Easter and Good Friday. Dad loved the stations of the cross and would meditate at each spot. He especially loved the stations of the cross at the Grotto in Portland. The cross transfixed Dad—Christ’s herculean effort to be whipped and scourged, carry the cross, have the nails driven in, and forgive His enemies. Dad imagined the cost of forgiveness, the weight not just of the physical cross but the weight and suffering of the whole world’s sin and shame. 

Henri Nouwen writes that the cross becomes a pivotal decisive point— the contrast of the celebration of Jesus as the Messiah on Palm Sunday as people consider Jesus for all His possible benefits—multiplication of food, healing, abundance, victory over Rome and instead Jesus offers them something very different, a cross, baptism from death to life, dying to truly live. 

He was not the messiah people had wanted, the conquering savior and liberator of freedom of body from the occupiers of Israel. Instead, He came as a liberator from sin, a conqueror over fear and death, and an offerer of new life. Even now, I am confronted with the choice of wanting a messiah to give me the “Disneyland” life of freedom to do and become what I aspire to be, and instead, Christ is offering me something totally different. He is modeling a journey of the cross I must make—a laying down of the earthly crowns in obedience to the will of the Father. 

And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” – Luke 22:40-42