Ann Farabee column: A little farther
Editor’s note: This column was first published in 2018.
By Ann Farabee
What an evening it had been! Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. He took part in the Last Supper. He predicted his betrayal and foretold that Peter would deny him. Jesus told the disciples that He is the way to the father. He promised that he would not leave them comfortless, but would send the comforter. He taught them that he is the vine and they are the branches who produce fruit. And, that even though the world would hate, they needed to love. And…they needed to pray.
He finished this time of preparing his disciples for what was to come by praying for himself, praying for them, and praying for us — the future believers.
He then took his disciples with him to the Garden of Gethsemane. He began to feel sorrowful and very heavy. He told them to watch and pray, as he had taken them as far as they could go. He had to face this — for them — and for us — alone.
For, Jesus was to bear the cross, carrying the weight of the sin of the world. Our sin. Each of us. All of us. What he would have to face was unimaginable. Suffering. Pain. Agony. Anguish. Darkness. Separation.
Then, Jesus went a little farther. He fell on his face and prayed, while in deep agony. In his prayer, he asked the father to let the cup pass from him, and then submitted to the will of the father as he continued, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”
He had just prayed the greatest prayer in the history of the world — as he made a way for the salvation of the world. The heart of Jesus was now prepared for what was to come.
As the evening was ending, Jesus was betrayed and arrested.
He then entered into the worst day in human history.
He who was not of the world — came to the world — for the world.
I am so glad He went a little farther.
And… he went to the father.
He went farther than anyone had ever been…for anyone.
That anyone was everyone. It was you. It was me.
I believe, without a doubt, that as Jesus looked down from the cross to those who were putting Him to death, and said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” that He looked ahead in time and thought of me — Ann.
And, I believe he thought of you.
Three days later, the best day in human history arrived. The stone was rolled away. He was not there! For he was risen!
It is not just a story, my friends. It is history — his story.
Jesus, thank you for going a little farther that day in the garden for us.
Thank you for going all the way — to the cross.
Help us each day to go a little farther for you. Amen
Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or annfarabee.com.