Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 7 of Lent :: Drops of Blood

Being in anguish, He (Jesus) prayed more earnestly,
and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
(Luke 22:44)
The physician and Gospel-writer, Luke, gives us a medical perspective into the soul-filled anguish Jesus experienced at Gethsemane.

Among other things, Jesus exemplified what honest, trust-filled surrender to the Father looks like. “Organized religion,” writes Brennan Manning “has domesticated the crucified Lord of glory, turned Him into a tame theological symbol. Theological symbols do not sweat blood in the night.[i]  Jesus is gentle and meek, but He is not weak or tame.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

(Hebrews 12:1b-4)

“Without Gethsemane, there would have been no Golgotha.
The blood and water that flowed from His wounds on the cross were preceded by bloody sweat that poured from His pores as He suffered the agony of a death more painful than the physical death on the cross, the death of the will.”
Michael Card

I abandon myself  into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You do, I thank You;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only Your will be done in me
and in all  Your creatures.
I ask no more than this, my Lord.
Into Your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to You all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord,
and so need to give myself  into Your hands,
without reserve and with boundless confidence.
For You are my Father. Amen.
  by Charles de Foucauld

Action: Lent is a time when we remind ourselves that God’s will is perfect. It is a time when we surrender our wills and declare, “Your will be done!” Today, reaffirm your commitment to follow God wherever He leads you.

[i] Brennan Manning, The Signature of  Jesus, 37.
[ii] Michael Card, Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ, 152.

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