Jesus’ hair covers His face as He falls to the ground. He’s breathing deeply, shaking in the darkness of night. Oh the pain, weighing down on every fiber of His being. His hands dug into the dirt, desperately trying to equal the pain and take His mind off the future. “Father,” He says, “if you are willing, take this cup away from me.” The faces of His friends sleeping nearby race through His mind. As if like a movie, the camera zooms off one face and zooms out to see families, and communities, and cities and empires. Every empire and every civilization the camera keeps zooming, until He sees the earth. And the earth begins to spin. Faster and faster it goes. From this view Jesus watches the wheat growing and bending, pyramids rising and eroding, skyscrapers climbing then all of sudden disappear. The whole history of humanity, falling on His body. Blood trickles down from His head; His eyes sting when some breach the lids. Jesus breathes a little deeper and with such a resolve the likes we have never known continues, “Yet, not my will, but yours be done.”
I stretched out a few verses in Luke’s Gospel and used creative license to fill in the holes, all to prove a point about the significance of the situation, that situation being yours and mine. It was our sins that did that to Him, our collective and personal decision to say “We know better than you, God”. He had to carry the burden, and it had to stop His heart.
This is what had to be done. From eternity past to eternity future and the Cross right in the middle, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was, is and will be the only plan of God. There is no Plan B for us to be united again, not even a Plan A because to label a plan “A” means a potential alternative like “B” is viable. No, this was, is and will be the Plan.
But now moving past salvation, Sorge goes deeper to make the uneasy statement that there also is no Plan B for what we desire most in the world. Absolutely nothing outside the love of the Father given on the Cross of Christ will provide the desired day when we are totally and completely enough, when we feel at home and fully known and unconditionally accepted, when we have a real purpose. Outside of His arms there is no peace.
Everyone–you, me, even atheists who claim to have no god–is guilty of idolatry. Sorge lists out a fews in this chapter: money, sex, friends (“to deliver us from loneliness”). I think we can go further and include our majors and GPAs (our intellect), and how many likes our pictures get on Instagram (our popularity) and how much pull-ups we can do and how far we can run (our strength). We want to glorify ourselves, therefore our pride turns us into false gods. So before you claim how much “better” you are then the one who refuses to believe the Gospel ask yourself, “Is Jesus really your God?”
I’m serious. Ask yourself that question right now. Ask the Lord if you are, Biblically-speaking, carrying a golden calf in your heart. It’s difficult to ask, I know. It gives Him the opportunity to tell you where you are falling short. But when you make yourself available for God to show you what you’re holding fast to, Sorge describes it as “something dynamic”. “Not only is you own spirit tenderized through such singular affection, but the response of the Father in the way He moves upon your heart is quite without parallel.
When the time comes when we are surrounded by the enemy and the only means of escape is to run back to what gives us (fleeting) satisfaction, we must, we must remember what Jesus did for us; we must remember The Plan. “You alone are my expectation.” What better place to say that than in your secret place?
-Sam Darby, connect