Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:3-4)
Have you ever thought about all that was done in the shedding of Jesus’ blood, starting within the Garden of Gethsemane? Until recently, I had never considered the blood Jesus shed in the garden as being a part of the atonement, but that was the first place His blood was shed. It was there that Jesus struggled to submit His will to the will of the Father.
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-42,44)
The entire time Jesus was in the garden, there was a struggle for His will. Jesus had always done God’s will, but now he faced the greatest challenge of His life, and He had to be in total submission to His Father’s will. Soon He would carry the sins of the whole world to the cross, but first He had to face the temptation to resist the will of God.
Every day, we face a similar kind of struggle if we are truly committed to living the Christian life. Even Paul the apostle admitted that he struggled.
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (Romans 7:15)
It is easy to become discouraged, to become weary of the fight. Hebrews 12:3 says the answer is to consider, to think about, Jesus and the struggle He endured. After all, He shed His blood to resist sin. It was in the garden that He shed His blood in the struggle for His will, that our wills might be redeemed. Many of the people of the world have given their wills over to Satan, but in Jesus’ struggle, He overcame, and through His blood shed in the garden, purchased our wills back from the devil so that we, too, can submit to the will of God in everything. We can resist sin!
How can we resist sin? The same way we receive anything from God, – by His grace.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
The above scripture says that in Jesus we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way we are tempted, yet He did not sin. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help (to resist sin) in time of need (while we’re being tempted).”
We need to claim for ourselves the victory Jesus won in the garden – by shedding His blood, He redeemed our wills so that, through the power of God’s grace, we can do the will of God and resist the sin we are so easily subject to.
Thank God for the fullness of the sacrifice and the shed blood of Jesus that even helps make our will subject to the will of God in resisting sin, and in every other way. Please pray with me:
“Father, left on my own, I want to live my own way, and do my own thing, but I realize my will can only lead to death. Therefore, I come boldly to the throne of grace to receive the grace I need. I receive the blood Jesus shed to restore my will so it may be subject to Your will. Now, Lord, I submit to you. May your will be done in my life, in all things. Amen”