John 12:27-28 (ESV)
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (ESV)
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind– 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus knew what was coming His way. He knew that the words of Isaiah were going to be fulfilled. He knew that He was to become sin on the cross. “Save me.” Too often our minds are captured by the images of a flat Jesus. One that showed little emotion; that went about His business with single focus but no expression. He wasn’t flat. Being full man he possessed all the emotions that He as God created before the foundation of the world. This gives us reassurance that we are supposed to live our lives without fear of our emotions. True, our emotion can lie to us but so can our minds. We are in the flesh and fallen. This doesn’t mean we don’t lean into our emotional life. “Save me.”
I didn’t cry, really cry, for many years. I thought it was a sign of weakness. I also didn’t cry because that sprang from sorrow. I hate sorrow. My favourite thing in the flesh, my idol, is pleasure. The opposite is sorrow. Even now when sorrow is present I will try to diffuse it by getting angry at something small and insignificant. Or I will try and numb it in some way that is never health.
“Save Me.” Our emotions are keenly part of us. God has placed them there to help make us more holy, to be more like Him. God is present in them and has felt them as well. Not only is He their designer, He has also experienced them. They do not define us. They do not have to stop us. But they do need to be embraced and submitted to the Father.
Father, thank you for creating us with emotions that help us learn more about you; they help us to trust and they can cause us to stumble. Thank you Jesus for asking to be saved and for feeling troubled. You have been there before us and you can help us to navigate the path of righteousness through our emotions. Amen
Embrace the emotions that you are feeling. Do not wallow in them. Do not avoid them. Embrace them when they come. Maybe you need a good cry. Maybe you need to do a happy dance. Maybe you have some righteous anger that needs a loud yelp into a pillow (we don’t want to scare people). Stop saying your fine when you aren’t. Trust that the people around you can handle where you are. If they are walking with you in Jesus than remember that Jesus has felt that emotion.