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)
The definition of the word surrender is “to yield to the power and authority of another,” and we can find no more compelling example of surrender lived out in all of written history than the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus surrendered completely to the will of His Father. Jesus was the co-eternal God, equal to the Father in power and authority, yet He “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7). I can think of no greater surrender than for the perfect, sinless King of kings and Lord of lords to take on human flesh and be born under the Law.
He who knew no sin took on our sinful flesh and experienced every temptation we experience (Hebrews 4:15). Think about it: by taking on our humanity and becoming fully man, Jesus willingly endured the repulsive reminders of our sinful nature, moment by moment, yet He remained utterly without sin. Also, in His humanity, He experienced the life we live: We get thirsty – He got thirsty. We get hungry – He got hungry. We get tired – He got tired. We grieve – He grieved. He never knew those things sitting on His throne of glory in heaven, but He surrendered all of that to come into this world to save sinners . . . of whom I am chief, as Paul would say.
As you embark on another week, take a moment to reflect on the surrender of your Savior and remember that He surrendered to save you. From all eternity, He desired to be in relationship with you—an intimate, personal, loving relationship with you. And so He surrendered to both serve and to save you.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
Let that truth encourage you to do as your Savior did, and willfully and cheerfully surrender to God’s plan and purpose for your life. It may not look like you want it to look, and it may not happen in the time frame you want it to happen, but you can be sure that whatever God delivers to you is ultimately for your good and His glory.
Know this: the degree of joy, freedom, and faithfulness you experience on this side of the grave will always be in direct proportion to the degree you surrender your life to your Savior.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!