A HOLY WEEK JOURNEY IN ADVERSITY TOWARDS RESILIENCE
HOLY WEEK READING-REFLECTION PLAN
8th April 2020, Wednesday: Luke 22:39-46 Prayer Of Relinquishment
In the school of Gethsemane, we learn the Prayer of Relinquishment. In the starkness of the scene, gaze in wonder at the solitary figure etched against the gnarled olive trees. The bloodlike sweat falling onto the ground. The human longing: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me”. The final relinquishment; “Not My will, but Yours be done”. We do well to meditate often on this unparalleled expression of surrender. Here, we have the incarnate Son praying through His tears and not receiving what he asks. Jesus knew the burden of unanswered prayer. “If You are willing” – “Is there any other way?” “Can people be redeemed by some different means?” The answer – No! Andrew Murray writes, “For our sins, He suffered beneath the burden of unanswered prayer.”
Here we have the complete laying down of the human will. Too often the battle cry for us is, “My will be done!” rather than “Thy will be done”. Better for me than them to be in control. Besides, I would use the power to such good ends. But in the school of Gethsemane we learn to distrust whatever is in our own mind, thought, and will even though it is not directly sinful or wrong. Jesus shows us the more excellent way. The way of helplessness. The way of abandonment. The way of relinquishment. “My will be done” is conquered by “Not my will”. Here we have the perfect flowing into the will of the Father. “Your will be done” was Jesus’ consuming concern. To applaud the will of God, to do the will of God, even to fight for the will of God is not difficult … until it comes at cross-purposes with our will. Then the lines are drawn, the debate begins, the self-deception takes over. But in the school of Gethsemane, we learn that “my will, my way” must yield to a Higher Authority.
Relinquishment brings to us a priceless treasure.: the crucifixion of the will. Paul knew what a great gift this is. “I have been crucified with Christ,” he joyfully announces. There is relinquishment. There is crucifixion. There is death to the self-life. But there is also a releasing with hope: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me”. (Galatians 2:19-20) These are my life verses as well. I am still a work in progress.
Adapted Richard Foster
Q1. How much of you is surrendered to God? If not all, what can’t you give up and why?
Q2. Reflect upon this statement, “Knowing I am loved by the Father as the Father loves the Son makes it easy for me surrender to Him”.
Write out your responses