Agony and Ecstasy Apr04

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Agony and Ecstasy

I’m a French girl.  Wine making was part of my upbringing having had immigrant grandparents who came to America in the early 1900’s looking for a new life.  My brother Richard and I inherited several wine tools, containers, bottles, and a keen interest in the process. He has even produced his own wine label in recent years much to my benefit and delight. I was using my mom’s old Bible recently (one of my most treasured possessions) and in her notes she talked about the pivotal role of the winepress in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Matthew 26:39  says “… He (Jesus) threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will-not what I desire- but as You will and desire.” 

Jesus was the new wine that God the Father was bringing forth to the world.  The Garden of Gethsemane was like a winepress for Jesus that night. He was being torn, squeezed, and pressed into new life for us.  The Bible goes on to say that he literally sweated blood from his pores just as grapes are pressed and poured.  His crucified life brought new life – eternal life for us and it began with the enormous pressure he felt that night in the garden.

Are you experiencing pressure and stress in your life?  Jesus commanded his followers to pray that night. Sounds simple, right? They failed. When the pressures and strain of life are great can you pray “your will God, not mine?”  Are you willing to throw yourself  on the ground – on your face – into the winepress? Jesus was victorious.  He rose to new life so that we too can have His power, His grace, His peace, and His contentment “on earth as it is in Heaven.”  Trust Him to be victorious with what He wants for you not what you want from Him.  It’s the agony and the ecstasy-(was that a movie?!).

Jesus, disappointed,  found His followers asleep.  In verse 41 He goes on to say, “ … the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”   We are weak, pathetic, followers. He commands us in these verses:

Mark 13:33

Mark 14:38

Luke 22:46

Stay awake!  Be on guard! Be alert!  Keep watch! Get up and pray!

And…He’s called us to intoxicate the world with His new wine – life.  It’s a simple as a prayer away.