I must admit, when I read this week’s writing prompt, I thought about the little surrender required in my life these days. After all, I’m single and self-employed. Translation: I don’t need to yield to a spouse or a boss.
Then I thought about Jesus and the resurrection. How could I not, since my nose has been deep in putting the finishing touches on Reflecting Easter. Truth be told, I can’t wait for your nose to be deep in it, too, for I can’t wait to share more of what I learned by writing it. Info on pre-orders is coming soon!
The most radical, trust-filled expression of surrender I know of is summed up in these words:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Yes, we’ve heard these words many times, so many in fact that they might not resonate as deeply as they should. Let’s stop for just a second to really think this one through as Jesus knew he was about to be arrested.
And stripped (ever thought about that one? Ms. Modesty over here cringes at that one).
And ridiculed. Spit upon. Taunted.
Don’t forget to add betrayed to the list as it was one of his closest people that handed him over. Then of course we also have those thorns pressed deep into his forehead, stakes nailed through flesh and the not-so-slow process of dying from asphyxiation.
I know this is hard, but don’t check out on me yet, for it is only by embracing the depths of Christ’s surrender that we can ever come to embrace the riches of his love for us. We have one more area of surrender left. Take a breath, for it’s not an easy one:
Cursed by God. Don’t forget to add that one to the list. Write it with a shaking hand, that fearful, awe-inspired reality that God momentarily turned his back on his own son. Truly.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23a tells us that ““If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God)” (NASB, emphasis mine). Trust me, I did the research and tree definitely includes crucifixion (you can read more on that in Reflecting Easter).
Jesus was about to hang on a tree and therefore be under God’s curse, but what is even worse is that sin can not stand in the presence of God, so with all of our gunk and mire and piled upon Jesus, God turned His back. At least for a time.
Why? If you don’t know the answer to the core, how I long for you to do so. You see, you are the answer. Me, too. Jesus’s love for us runs so much deeper than we dare imagine–a love so fierce that even when he knew that each of the things listed above and so much more was about to happen, Jesus didn’t shy away. Instead, he surrendered.
He didn’t skip to the cross. In fact, “he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Our surrender won’t come easily, either.
I think of my friend who fell in love with a man who tried pressuring her to sleep with him. It broke her heart, but she surrendered the relationship to her commitment to remaining sexually pure.
I think of the moms who struggle with their identities as they spend their days changing diapers and teaching colors, wondering if they even have a purpose anymore. You do. Oh, how you do. Don’t stop. It’s so very hard, but your little ones need you.
My areas of surrender might be totally different than yours (for trust me, even without a boss or husband, this girl still must surrender every single day). Whatever it is, here’s our challenge, my friend: let His surrender become personal–personal to let you embrace the most radical love ever as well as personal to compel you to echo that brave prayer:
Not my will, but yours be done…
Linking in with Five Minute Friday