Garden (Cross)

April 19, 2019

 

 

 

“And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭TPT‬‬

 

 

Have you guys ever heard the phrase no pain no gain? Yeah I hate it too. No cross no crown, no rain no rainbow, nothing ventured nothing gained, no guts no glory and no bees no honey, all fall in the same category. I’m not sure why these phrases get so under my skin. If you apply them to real life, maybe it’s because I hate the fact that you have to exercise if you want to loose weight, revise if you want to pass your exam, actually look for a job if you want one and practice to make perfect. It’s the connotation that there has to be sacrifice for reward. And in all honesty? I can be lazy as hell. Why should I have to go to work to make money? Why I can’t I just be as rich in real life as I am in my mind? These are questions I often ask myself. 

 

Unfortunately that’s just not the way life works. They say in order to master anything you have to put in 10 thousand hours of practice. That’s 416 days non stop. The equivalent of 1.14 years with no sleep, no food and no rest. Just continual effort into the thing you’re trying to perfect and after 1.14 years you’ll master it. You’ve got to sew if you want to reap. And logic will tell you, the more you sew, the more you’ll reap. The more time you put in, the more reward you’ll get.

 

NOBODY in the history of the world knew this more than Jesus. Before I start unpacking his sacrifice, let’s all just establish that he was BORN to DIE. And he knew it, he knew that his sole reason for existing was to die. But my question is why? Why would he be okay with doing this? Aside from the fact that he was 100% God and 100% man. He was willing to sacrifice everything, his whole life, in the most excruciating fashion because he knew what he was going to reap. He knew that every second of pain, every minute on the cross, every bruise, every scar, every mocking word, every tearing muscle, every pierced portion of skin would lead to the ultimate reward.

 

You. 

 

He sat in that garden and prayed, he begged God to find another way. But he knew the only way to have you was to give up his life, in the way that he always knew he would.

You see Jesus understood that without this pain? He couldn’t have us. We wouldn’t be with him in heaven where he created us to be. He couldn’t spend eternity with his prize possession which was humanity. The suffering was worth it to him because he knew what he was getting. He carried that cross up that hill to the place of the skull for us. He let them beat him, he let them spit, he let them mock, he let them kill him. Because he knew all to well that without the pain of the cross there was no gain of us. He wanted us with him, and he was willing to suffer for it. I still can’t get my head around it. Why he left paradise for me. You could be reading this and thinking that Jesus left heaven to come to earth for other people, the good ones. The ones that deserve him. But that’s a lie. Friend I promise you if it was just you on this earth, you that ever lived, he would have come down and done exactly the same thing. He would have committed his spirit. For you. Yes, you.

 

We’ll talk more about Jesus death in the coming days, but as we are focusing on Friday, I recognise that we suffer too. Sometimes we can feel like death looks more appealing than what we are facing. We’re begging God to take the suffering away from us. But sometimes friends, the only way out is through. We don’t know what’s on the other side of the suffering, and I can’t tell you for sure. But if you feel like you’re stuck on a Friday, all you see is darkness and pain, there’s no hope and the only thing you can see is your cross, remember this: 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.” 

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Wow. What a promise. Not only did Jesus die for us, but we get to share the fruits of his 10,000 hours. You don’t have to die on a cross to share the glory that came with the ultimate sacrifice As I’m writing I’m genuinely struggling to wrap my head around it. Whatever you may be facing, whatever your Friday looks like, the God of all loving grace will powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever, be it on this side of heaven, or when we get there.

 

Walk through your garden, talk to the one that left paradise to come and  get you. It’ll be worth it.

 

 

We love you,

 

 

Agape x

 

Deborah King 

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© 2019 by Deborah Newbould for Agape Generation UK.