When we look back at our lives before we decided to follow Jesus, each of us had a turning point. There was a point where we realized we had sin between us and the grace of God. Repentance requires us to turn from sin and towards God.
But compare this with Jesus. Jesus had no turning point. He was always going to do the Will of the Father.
Consider Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. His prayers were not that He escape the upcoming ordeal, but that it might be possible for God to change His mind. As far as the scriptures teach, Jesus never did consider going contrary to God’s will for Him. In every instance, His plan was to do the will of the Father. It might not have been what Jesus wanted to do, but Jesus did what God wanted in every case.
Matthew 26:39-44: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.”
Jesus was dedicated to God’s will. He was dedicated to remaining close to God during this strenuous time.
Also, when Jesus was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4, reading the verses where Jesus resists the temptations again and again, we get the sense that Satan never really had a chance at succeeding in getting Jesus to use His divinity for anything other than the Will of God. In Matthew 4:
Verse 4: “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Verse 7: “Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
Verse 10: “Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
What sacrifice He gave! Not just once, but His entire life Jesus was sacrificing Himself for the sake of others, indeed for the sake of each one of us. It brings shame to the penitent heart when we consider how we will allow our own wills to dictate our decisions, rather than considering the will of Almighty God.
Tonight, consider your turning point. Is it in the past, or is it in the future? For most of us, it’s both.