Draw Me Nearer Lord
"My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death..." Mark 14:34 (NLT)
How God moved my heart as I sat with His Word yesterday morning! I opened to Mark Chapter 14 and read these words:
"He [Jesus] took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, 'My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.'"
In this scene, Mark describes Jesus' intense anguish as He contemplates the next step in His earthly journey...death on a cross. Jesus' emotions, deeply distressed and troubled, come from the Greek word "ekthambeo" which means, "to throw into terror; to alarm thoroughly." Scholars believe that in this moment the devil visibly prowled around Jesus. He was desperate to stop Jesus, to drive Him to despair, to steal His hope and belief in the goodness and faithfulness of His Father. Satan needed victory. If he failed, and Jesus walked in obedience to the Father's will, Satan would be vanquished forever! What a powerful moment in Scripture. When God's Word tells us Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, our Lord and Savior knows first hand!!
Jesus' words, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death, reveal that He fully knew He was about to endure the sin of all mankind. The King James version says, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful," which is from the Greek word "perilupos" which means "deeply grieved." Jesus, who knew no sin was made sin for us. His Father, our God, is perfect in every way. Jesus knew that when He took upon the sin of the world, His Father would have to turn His back on Him. He could not look upon His own Son. The weight of that sin crushed our Lord.
Sweet friends, as I read these words anew, I sat on my bed amazed at what my Savior did for me. Not very often do I deeply ponder the agony Christ suffered before He went to the cross. I asked myself, do I feel this agony for my own sin? Am I exceedingly sorrowful for my own sin? I think not. Shamefully, I realize that I rotely confess my sin, but I do not know if I ever appreciated as much as I did yesterday morning the absolute gravity of my sin and the incredible gift given me that day at Calvary.
I invite you to sit with these verses today. Drink them in. Sear them into your heart. May we never forget the sacrifice made by our precious Savior.
Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. I praise You and thank You for the gift You have given me through Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, thank You for struggling that day in Gethsemane. Thank You for standing strong against the evil one, for loving me, for loving us, so much that You would endure such anguish and sorrow. I am so sorry for not living a life worthy of what You did for me that day. Keep my heart tender and ever aware of Your immense sacrifice. Keep me close to Your heart, show me my sin. Give me a repentant heart when I see my sin. Wash me wit h Your love, fill me with Your Truth, and draw me ever closer to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.