Yesterday the daily post asked, “Is it impossible to attain greatness without considerable hardship?” The devil would say, “Nope, it’s not impossible,” but the devil is a big fat liar.
Remember when he took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world? “All this I will give you,” he lied, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Just sell your soul to me and you can bypass the agony of the cross.
The offer might have been tempting, but Jesus’s mission was not to win an earthly kingdom for Himself, His mission was to win a heavenly kingdom for us. And that mission was going to be tough. There was no way around it and He knew it:
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:31-33
The night before He was “lifted up”, Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” If there is any other way, let’s take it. But there was no other way. None of us are good enough to save ourselves. Not a single one. And Jesus knew it. So, in anguish, with His sweat falling to the ground like drops of blood, He continued, “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
No pain, no gain.
No guts, no glory.
Or, as Jimmy Dugan said in one of my favorite movie quotes, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
Happy Labor Day.