Just one more step
“Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.” Luke 23:26
I have heard many messages about how Jesus sweat drops of blood in the garden the night before His crucifixion. It certainly was one of the most difficult moments of His life here on earth. The anxiety He experienced as He anticipated the events that were about to take place was outwardly and obviously expressed in His sweat drops of blood. As He pleaded with His Father in His last minute alone with Him to remove this cup if there was any other possible way to accomplish God’s plan. He finished the conversation by declaring “Not my will but Yours be done!” Even as I write these words my heart is heavy with sorrow, but also filled with gratitude and appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice once again.
As difficult as that moment of prayer in the garden was for Jesus, I believe the turning point or most difficult steps were at the point He fell down on the road, carrying the cross. Someone else had to come and carry it for Him. At that point, Jesus showed His true determination to accomplish God’s plan to carry away the curse of the sin in the world. When He could no longer take another step, God stepped in and brought help for Him to get to the top of the hill to be that sacrifice. It was at that point when Jesus could have said, “That’s all I got, I cannot take another step. I cannot get up and move any further on this path. I have been beaten until there is no strength left in this body and I will lay down here and die.”
I’m sure He could have died right there if He hadn’t gone on. However, He was determined to make it to His destination. There was nothing that was going to hold Him back from getting to the place He was assigned to be. He set His eyes on the top of that hill at Calvary and thought within Himself: just a little further, just another step. I imagined at that point He was probably down on hands and knees fixated on that spot where He was to be crucified for me. He was obsessed to get there for us all, to carry away our sin, our sickness, our disease, and our pain and suffering. Thank you, LORD Jesus, for being determined to succeed in the purpose for the breath You were given here on earth. Your purpose was to be beaten, suffer, die, be buried, get the keys of hell and death, raise up from the dead, and ascend into Heaven to be with your Father at His right hand, to be the head of His church, to rescue us from an eternity of suffering and separation from You.
Today I want to encourage you to be thankful once again for your salvation, for the price that was paid for your freedom and abundant life. Then become determined to succeed in the plan that He has for your life. If you do not know what the plan is, ask and He will show you because He said, “you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”.(Jer. 29:13) Then say what Jesus said that night in the garden before He was arrested: “Not my will but Your will be done!”
If you have never accepted the gift of salvation through His sacrifice for you, do it today by praying this prayer: God in heaven, I know I’m a sinner and I need a Savior. I want to turn away from my sinful life to the life You have planned for me. Please forgive me for my sins, cleanse me from my past, and make me new. I know your Son, Jesus died for me. I believe in my heart that You raised Him form the dead. At this very moment, I accept, confess and proclaim Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior . . . to be Lord of my life from this day forward. Thank you, Jesus for Your grace that has saved me from my sin and has given me eternal life. I now have a right relationship with God my Father. I also ask for Your Holy Spirit to guide me and to empower me to do the things that You have planned for my life in Jesus name, Amen.
Now ask Him to make His plan and path plain and clear so you can follow Him from this day forward.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 23:26-43
26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.
28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’
30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” and they divided His garments and cast lots.
35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,
37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”