Everything hinges on the action taken by Jesus to go to the cross. All the miracles would only be magic tricks without the cross. All the people Jesus healed from sickness, all the people he raised from the dead, all the other miracles he did, all eventually past by, the people died. Without going to the cross to take our sin, those people would have been no better off in the end than they were before they met Jesus. I really want to pray for someone and see instant healing, I’d love to pray for some and see them raised from the dead for the Glory of God, but only if it leads people to see what he’s done on the cross.
All the things Jesus taught about loving your neighbor, caring for the poor, turning the other cheek, those would have just been a peaceful philosophy to live by. Lots of people do those things without ever knowing Jesus. Without the cross all our good deeds leave us in the same place we started.
I think all the things Jesus did and taught leading up to the cross were easy for him. Demons, come out of that person. Go into those pigs. Jump off a cliff. Done. Beggar, get up off your mat and walk, Done. Lazarus, you’ve been dead for four days, you probably smell, but come out. Done. Lazarus walks out, alive. Religious guy, stop being so full of yourself and feed the poor. But the Cross, that was not easy. Jesus even tries to get out of it asking the Father if there is any other way may this cup pass me by. He knew what was coming He knew the only way was the cross. So he went, for you and for me and was crucified to be a sacrifice for all our sins. Jesus for the first time ever was separated from his father. Imagine the pain. We have no idea. We start out separated and never get fully returned until Jesus takes us into the throne room to see our Heavenly Father.
My little girl stands at our kitchen door when I leave and waves goodbye, she puts her little nose on the glass and laughs and smiles. It's the cutest thing. She does it if either my wife or I leave, as long as she knows one of us is still there. A little while ago we were going out on a date night and we left her with a sitter. We thought, oh lets wave goodbye, it's so cute. She wailed, she was crushed. I think it was the first time we'd both left her when she was still awake to see us go. I wonder what was going through her little head. Fear? Pain? Forsaken? Well I'm sure she does not know those words but she knows the feelings. We could see it in her face.
The only thing Jesus hadn't yet faced just before going to the cross was separation from his Father. To this point he had nothing to reference what it would be like to not be able to call out to his father and hear a response, to feel his presence. Why would he do that? Why would he risk the unknown to rescue us?
He knows we're hopeless without that risk. I think he imagined what it was like for us to never have that connection with the Father and thought how can I let them go on like this. If this cup can pass me by... but your will not mine be done. At that moment on the Cross when he would experience what we've all been born with, separation from our creator, from our father. That was not easy. Giving up the very thing that all of us were created to experience, fellowship with God, so that he could defeat the thing that separates us.
We were sad when we got in the car, for a second we though about going back to give Isla a hug. But we got over it, I had the pasta. She got over it too. The only way we get over the separation is if we are returned to the presence of the one from whom we've been separated. When Isla got up in the morning and I went in to get her out of bed she was very very happy to see me. Makes you feel pretty good. How much more our Father must be elated when Jesus rescued back into his presence. There's a line in a Mat Kearney song that says, "nothing worth anything ever goes down easy". I'm not sure what he wrote this song about but I heard it as the conversation between Jesus and the Father before in the Garden. check it out