Brutal Honesty-Part II

My last post referred to Jesus' brutally honest prayer as recorded in Luke 22. Jesus prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more in the garden of Gethsemane.  He called out in brutal honesty to His heavenly Father, “If you are willing, take this cup from me!” The “cup” He referred to was the Cup of Redemption in the Passover Meal that His sacrifice on the cross would fulfill.  This was the cup Jesus lifted when He told His disciples during the last Supper, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Jesus felt so safe with His heavenly Father that He spoke freely and with complete honesty, asking if there might be some other way than a cross to win the hearts of humanity. This wasn’t some minor prayer request. His request was very real, flowing out of deep psychological and emotional anguish.  We know this because we’re told that Jesus’ sweat became like blood.Please understand what this brutally honest moment reveals.  First, it reveals one member of the Trinity feeling so secure in His relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit that He can admit – “I’m not sure this is what I want to do right now!” Second, it reveals God, in human flesh, struggling as we do; wrestling over the goodness of the Father’s plans, and struggling to embrace that something good will come out of something so painful and hard.  Jesus felt so safe in His relationship with the Father that He felt free to say anything, and feel anything He had to say or feel.  It was because He could process His deep anguish in a safe place that He arrived at the conclusion which changed our world – “Yet not my will – yours be done!” (Luke 22: 42)Jesus shows us that God’s gift of new life looks like a relationship where I am safe in saying and feeling anything I need to say or feel – all the time. If we view a relationship with God like an SAT exam with only right and wrong responses to God - we’re not going to visit with God very often. If, however, we view a relationship with God like a conversation with a loyal friend who lets us say whatever we need to say, and feel whatever we need to feel – we’re going to visit with God more often and be transformed by the experience.  Jesus lived as if His relationship with His heavenly Father was the safest place for Him to go to process strong emotions, fears, and doubts. Jesus went to the cross because He was able to honestly process His concerns about the Father’s will, and in that process relinquish those concerns in favor of surrender. Our Lord’s sacrifice on that cross won us the same quality of relationship. So how about you? Are you ready to have a brutally honest conversation with your heavenly Father today?