Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When Jesus Christ Fought to Save Your Life

Gethsemane: The Price Jesus Christ Paid to Save Your Life
A devotional by Cherie Mendez

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” –Matthew 26:38-39 (NLT)

The Garden of Gethsemane is one of the most moving scenes in all the Gospels (these books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

I have studied this passage many times, but when I read it this morning, one thing really stood out to me: the simple fact is that Jesus Christ had a choice. His choice was to either carry through the plan of salvation to save our souls and reconcile us with our Creator (God) or give up on humankind. If He chose to give up on us then that would result in our eternal death (Romans 6:23).

I can only imagine the temptation to turn from the horror of dying on the cross and let the world perish instead of Himself. The mental and spiritual suffering Jesus endured as He asked three times if His Father (God) would “take this cup” from Him. Even though His spirit was strong, His body trembled at what was to come. This showed His humanity.

Though Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human. Jesus was still committed to His purpose to be the Savior of the world it was in that moment He faced the cup of God’s wrath against our sin. The intense suffering He faced caused Him to turn to His Father for help just as we might pray when confronted with overwhelming emotional or physical pain.

I’ll never forget when I first moved away from home to start modeling in Europe. All the friends I thought I had were not really friends. I eventually found myself feeling very empty and lonely. One night I was sitting in my room staring at the wall, devastated over the fact that I did not have one friend I could call. Although I was raised in a Christian home, I turned my back on God as a teenager. So I didn’t think to turn to Jesus.

However, it was in that moment of deep pain and loneliness that the Lord met me right where I was at. All the pain I was carrying inside was healed in an instant by one simple prayer. I didn’t say much, I just asked God to heal my broken heart and for the first time in a long time I felt His immeasurable love and peace wash over me.

It says in John 15:13 (NLT),“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I am so thankful that today we still see and experience the choice Jesus made on that lonely night in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Here are three reasons Jesus chose to die for us:

Reason #1: To reconcile us to God. Romans 5:10 (NIV) says, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Reason #2: To pay the penalty for our sins. Romans 6:23 (NLT) says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Reason #3: To give us eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV) says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus died for us as our most faithful Friend. We can trust Him in our suffering because He has been there and can relate to us. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

So, today I encourage you: If you have been carrying physical or emotional pain, if you have been suffering in silence, please know that you have a friend in Jesus. Read what He says in Revelation 3:20 (NIV) which says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Jesus walked a lonely road, forsaken by all so that we might never be alone. He has been longing for our friendship since the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. He longs for us to stay near to Him and to abide in Him. Always remember: If we come near to God, He will always come near to us (James 4:8).

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, thank You for your love and mercy. Thank You for sending your precious Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and to make a way for us to have eternal life. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Only Jesus led a sinless life. Only He could pay our debts. Thank You, Jesus, for loving us enough to lay down Your life for us. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “All For Love (Gethsemane)” by Worship Central ft. Luke & Anna Hellebronth. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Cherie Mendez is a New York-based actress.

Her passion is to help women understand their true worth and walk in their God-given purpose. After many years working as a Christian in the entertainment industry, she is thankful to be able to share all her learning experiences in her blog posts and on Instagram.

Some of the topics Cherie loves to write about are:

· Coping with rejection

· Finding your purpose and using your talent for God’s glory

· How God always looks at the heart and the meaning of inner beauty

· Understanding that we are all a work in progress and God is not done with us yet

Cherie’s TV credits include The Equalizer, Bull, and Blue Bloods (CBS). She also appeared in the Pure Flix film Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider.

Cherie and her husband Jimmy live in New York City. They are thankful to have been married for 30 years. In their free time, they enjoy traveling, photography, and movie night.

Connect with Cherie:

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