A thought about rebellion…
Posted on October 23, 2012
Luke 22:42 states: “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” I’ve always heard this taught from the perspective that Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross and was asking the Father if there is another way the redemption of mankind could come to pass. This could be correct; however, I would like to explore another way to view this passage.
First, lets think through the implications of Jesus having a desire that was not the Father’s. Do we really think Jesus and God the Father would have a different idea of how to accomplish the redemption of mankind? Do we think Jesus would entertain the idea of going off course from what the Trinity originally desired in their heart? Was Jesus will opposed to the Father’s and that’s why Jesus had to submit His crooked will to the Father? Some may argue Jesus is teaching us how to submit to God. The problem with that is it is still performance and willpower based if He is merely our example, rather than new creation and new covenant based, as He is our substitute. Consider Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the EXACT representation of his being…” Jesus and the Father have the same will.
They are two persons, who share the same heart and mind and I don’t believe Jesus would have to submit to the Father a will that was opposed to the Father. However, I do think there is something really powerful happening in this passage. Remember with me Romans 5:18-19: “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Notice, the obedience of one man. I believe Jesus in this passage is fulfilling part of redemption by submitting mankind’s desire to oppose God to the Father’s authority. Jesus isn’t submitting His will, He is submitting mankind’s will.
Why is that significant? Because in this act He broke the power of rebellion. Now mankind has been freed from rebellion for all time! When people wake up to the truth that in Christ their rebellious will was done away with (see Romans 6:6) then submitting to the will of God for their lives is easy and that yoke is light. When we believe we are rebellious then it is only through grueling acts of self-will that we learn to obey. When we believe He changed our nature, then even the most seemingly difficult obedience is lived out through the right perspective and enabled by the grace of God.
What if our message to the world was declaring that God, in Christ, defeated mankind’s rebellion and has set us free to joyfully submit to our loving Father by the ease of His grace! Is it possible for people to not believe that and continue in their rebellious ways?! Yes! But now, their rejection is a faith choice to disregard the gift of God in Christ, and not because God is opposed to mankind and demands willpower obedience to be pleased. For what truly pleases God is faith (See Hebrews 11:6; John 6:29)! And authentic faith is a gift that always releases works of obedience through our lives (Romans 12:3 & Romans 1:4-5, Ephesians 2:8-10)! But Grace (which is a person) enables the entire process, start to finish! Let’s believe that Jesus really accomplished the job of redemption and that redemption is working in and through us right now (Phillipians 2:12-13 NT in Modern English Trans)! Now that my friends is good news!