THE HARD CHOICE…

HEBREWS 5:8: “…Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” NKJV
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OBSERVATION: Am I willing to make the hard choice? In life, we are all faced with many challenges and come to many crossroads in our journey. With each challenge and with each crossroad we are faced with a choice. One is the easy path. The other is the difficult path.

Which will we choose?

So many times when I think about Jesus I tend to forget the fact that He was fully human. Philippians tells us that He laid aside all the prerogatives of His Godhead and humbled Himself to become a man. Jesus did not beam Himself down from heaven as a fully grown man. Jesus came into this world as an infant. He grew up as a child. He became a young man. He learned a trade, experienced loss, and was faced with the same temptations that we face.

Jesus too came to many crossroads in His life in which He had to make a choice.

After being filled with the Holy Spirit at the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Satan offered Jesus a shortcut to His call and mission. Jesus could follow the Father’s call to the cross or simply bow down to Satan and receive all the kingdoms of this world. Jesus resisted this shortcut and chose the hard way as He rebuked the devil saying,

  • “Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Matthew‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Yet, this was not the only time Jesus would face this hard choice. The most notable crossroad Jesus faced was not His confrontation with Satan in the wilderness. It was when He faced His own humanity in the Garden of Gethsemane. Left alone to pray by the sleepy disciples, Jesus agonized over the coming hours when He would face the cross. Jesus, without sin, was being called – not simply to die on the cross, but to bear the sin of all mankind and take the wrath of God in our place.

This was the ultimate crossroad!

  • “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will…Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭38‬-‭39‬, ‭42‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus faced this crossroad twice that night. Each time He honestly asked the Father if there was an easier way. His human soul was burdened with the weight of this enormous task. And, even though in His humanity He wondered if there was an easier way, Jesus surrendered to the call and will of the Father when He cried – “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

Jesus chose the hard way!

The writer of Hebrews looks to this moment in Jesus’ life. Jesus did not make Himself our High Priest. He was called by God the Father to be both our High Priest and the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Father called Jesus to the road of suffering for the redemption of the world! The writer of Hebrews chronicles the crossroad Jesus faced when he wrote,

  • “…Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek…” Hebrews‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬-‭10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus chose the hard path!

If Jesus’ destiny was fulfilled by choosing the hard path, if the Savior of our souls learned obedience through the things which He suffered, will we fulfill God’s calling in our life if we do anything less? Will we grow in maturity if we keep taking the easy path? Will we reach our world for Christ if we are not willing to suffer for the truth of God’s Word? It is completely human to desire the easy path. Jesus did the same. Yet, it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life that enables us to make the hard choice, to pick up our cross, and follow Jesus!

We live in a day filled with crossroads. As Christ’s followers, we have been called by God, filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered with His Word, for such a time as this. There are so many distractions and temptations that are trying to pull us to the easy path, to the wide gate. Yet, there is a signpost at the crossroad that is calling us to make the hard choice. That signpost is the Cross of Christ. It is calling us to a pathway of sacrifice and suffering. It is calling us to a life of obedience. It is not the popular path but it is the path God is calling us to take.

Jesus chose the way of the cross. This choice had eternal consequences.

  • “And, having been perfected (through the cross), He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him”

Lord, this morning I confess that I would rather take the easy way. Yet, I want to follow You in making the hard choice – the choice to take up my cross and follow You! Grant me the grace I need to learn obedience through the things I suffer. Fill me anew with Your Holy Spirit so that I too can,

Make the hard choice!

In Jesus’ Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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