Letting go can be a difficult task for most of us I believe.
Have you ever thought about that we are not alone in our letting go?
What are some common things we might have to let go of?
–The security of our familiar surroundings if a job relocates us
–Our good health when suddenly an unexpected crisis occurs
–The close proximity of a child who moves half way across the world
–A relationship that can not be reconciled
–A person whom we love dearly passes from this life
–When the direction of your life might not line up with God’s way
Did you ever think about how God Himself experienced letting go?
He had to let go of His only Son, Jesus, sending Him to earth so Jesus could be the atoning sacrifice for you and me. All so WE can spend eternity with God and Jesus!
I dare say it must have pained God’s heart to have that physical separation from Him while Jesus lived on this earth. Jesus left paradise, union with God, for a time.
God had to let go and let Jesus walk this earth to accomplish the goal of redemption.
Letting go to have Jesus mocked, beaten, hung on a cross to ultimately set us free, for those who believe in Jesus.
What about Mary, the mother of Jesus?
Here she was an innocent young woman, told by an angel that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world through divine intervention.
I am sure, she like any human mother, became attached to her son as she watched him grow. As we read in Luke 2:41-52 when Jesus was only 12 years old, He was left behind in the temple unbeknownst to Joseph and Mary until three days later.
Luke 2:49-52 says,
And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. –(ESV)
It appears at that moment Mary did not understand exactly what Jesus meant but I have an inkling that shortly after that day, Mary began the letting go process of Jesus….releasing Him bit by bit back to God, the Father.
Letting go of Jesus traveling around to do His ministry work
Letting go of Jesus as she watched at the side of the cross as He hung there dying.
What agony and heartache she must have felt. How difficult letting go is.
What about Jesus Himself?
Did you ever think about how Jesus experienced letting go in His life when He walked this earth?
Possibly one major time was when Jesus, shortly before He was put to death, was praying to God, His Father, in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the verses below, notice how Jesus even asked God twice if the cup of suffering could pass Him by.
Photo courtesy of Nigel James: A view of the Garden of Gethsemane
We see this in Matthew 26:36-46:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Photo courtesy of Nigel James: The Garden of Gethsemane
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” –(ESV)
The ultimate act when Jesus experienced letting go in His life, was a Spiritual separation, when He was on the cross, the moment when He was separated from God taking on the weight of all our sins upon Himself.
Matthew 27:46 says,
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” –(ESV)
Jesus had to let go of His very will and spirit in order to glorify God and God’s plan for His life.
Jesus experienced a letting go of His will; a surrendering to God, His Father.
Jesus and God both experienced for a few moments, the letting go, through a Spiritual separation, so that WE don’t have to!
God and Jesus, and even Mary can relate to what we go through in this life.
May it bring you some comfort, as it does me, to know that what we are experiencing was even experienced by our Father.
We are not alone in letting go.
Our Father truly understands and is always there for us.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. –Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)