Christians believe that faith in Christ gives us access to the power of His resurrected, eternal life. The power to be made new, to be transformed more and more into Christlikeness. To shed off the old and put on the new - what a gift! But we can quickly forget the road that leads us to this eternal life. In Christ we have not only access to His life, but the example of how we find it. Taking up our cross and following Him. To submit to the moments in our life where Christ says, “this time I won’t save you. This time I’m inviting you to come die with Me. It’s only way to new life with Me.”
It’s interesting to note that several times the crowds tried to force fate on Jesus, and He simply escaped them. In Luke 4:29-30, after He declared Himself the fulfillment of the prophecies about the Messiah, His enraged hometown tried to throw Him off a cliff. But He simply dismissed their efforts. In John 10:39 the religious leaders tried to arrest Him for claiming He was God’s Son, but He smoothly slipped away. So what a shock it must have been for the disciples on that fateful night in the Garden of Gethsemane when the religious leaders came to arrest Him again, but Jesus didn’t run away. The disciples assumed that must mean that this time they’ll fight, but they are wrong again. Jesus essentially says, “this time we let it happen.” And they dragged Him away into the night, to crush Him. To finally kill Him.
Why did Jesus let it happen this time? I think the answer is pretty clear - this time it was in the Father’s plan (although Jesus clearly hoped it wasn’t, perhaps hoping He could escape yet again). This time the Father manifested His power, glory and love in that horrifying event and resurrected his Son, offering salvation to the whole world. Aren’t we glad that this time Jesus let it all happen?
Christ as our example, it will be the same for us. There are times Jesus will step in and save us, and we should rejoice and be glad. And there will come times we’ll likely feel the shock that He’s not doing anything to help, and we feel dragged away into the night to be broken. It can feel like a Divine betrayal, but be assured of this - He is there with us, and is using it all to give us new life. He didn’t say, “take up your cross and go alone”, but “take up your cross and follow me.” Matt 16:24.
Can we accept these times as part of God’s plan, like Jesus did? Can we trust He is there with us, and let that be enough? While we suffer, can we hold on to the hope that God is working on manifesting His resurrected life in us, which is worth any amount of suffering?”