Meditation on Luke 22 – Part II
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