Search This Blog

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Meditation on His Glory in Luke 22

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Meditation on Luke 22 – Part II

Exactly what glory can anyone expect to find in Luke 22 which begins with Israel’s leadership treachery with Judas in planning Jesus arrest and ends with his condemnation by Israel’s ruling counsel, the Sanhedrin? How gloomy the picture of this high holiday, the Passover, when the Lord has to hide the place where he plans to celebrate its feast with his best friends. He knew one of his closest disciples, Judas, was looking for an opportunity to place him into is murderous jeopardy. How heavy His heart must have been that in the midst the cherished meal in which He gave the Bread and the Cup as a way to remember Him and the sacrifice which he was soon to be. His heart must have been heavy to have revealed and announced Judas’ imminent betrayal, and then watch the man leave to pursue that end. Imagine having to settle a prideful squabble among his most intimate followers as they ambitiously vied for favorable positions in the future kingdom of their Lord. Then, upon all of that, He know that his dear Peter, with all his blustering about loyalty and commitment, would deny even knowing Him before the sun rose again.

All this, when Jesus “longed to celebrate” his last meal with them, wanting to communicate his last important teachings and personal feelings to them while facing what He had told them would happen…something they continued to misunderstand, ignore, or deny. In the presence of such insensitive and self-absorption, Jesus could have easily asked himself, “Will it be worth it?”

Here in lies the essence of the glory. Jesus’ experience of suffering anguish and temptation was so severe that God, the Father, had to send an angel to strengthen His body so wracked with contemplation of the sacrifice He wanted to make, that His sweat great drops of blood that fell to the ground as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. His suffering was of so infinite an intensity that He pleaded, nearly begged: "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt" (Mark 14:36). Hebrews 5:7 explains that his pleading was very intense, "…with strong crying and tears…" because He felt all of humanity’s sin about to come upon Him and all the intense suffering our deserved eternal Hell! He who not only knew no sin, but was the holiness of eternal deity in bodily expression, was about to become sin! Only on the cross did his torturous inner struggle force him to cry out: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Each must answer: “For me!”

Indeed, most all things are valued by how much they cost! Much value is assigned to Jesus physical suffering during the crucifixion, but little is expounded about the great price of this emotional trauma Jesus prior to that. Truly glory is magnified by the price He paid for our redemption in the intense suffering He suffered in the few days before He suffered on the day of his ignominious, unjust execution.

Let us look to Jesus “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). His joy resided in his loving belief that we were worth whatever it cost him; in that is found the glory that rightfully belongs to him. Yes, his is “the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Related reading:  Glory in Luke 22, Part I

No comments:

Post a Comment