Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” Luke 22:42
It was a Saturday morning, and it was my rubicon. I was reading an email this morning and it used this word—rubicon. I had seen the word many times plastered on the side of a special edition Jeep and that is why the email and this word grabbed my attention. I wondered, “What does it mean?” Well, as it turns out there are two definitions but the one that mattered to me was this: a point of no return.” I guess for the Jeep owners it means that their Jeep is designed to go to and past that point. In the email it meant more. It meant that Jesus was willing to go past His rubicon—His point of no return—even though He knew what that meant.
Back in 2018, I had a rubicon of another sort. Back in those days, I was walking 5.25 miles a day at a pretty brisk clip. It really was quite an accomplishment as I had been doing it for many months. But something was happening. In October of that year, it was just getting harder. I had put on a few pounds and I was sure that was the reason. Each day I would arrive back to the house exhausted, my heart rate a bit higher than it had been running and worse—it wasn’t coming down. I would walk five days a week and each day was the same—hard. Then came Saturday.
Saturday, October 6th, I reached my rubicon…my point of no return. After my walk I literally collapsed in a chair in my backyard. A guest staying in our Airbnb, who happened to be a resident medical student, asked what I was doing. I told him I was trying to breath and then humorously added that he might want to stick around as I might need him. Turned out I was a prophet. That day, I ended up in the hospital and it turned out the following Tuesday, I had a heart cath where they discovered a 90% blockage in one of the arteries of my heart. All of a sudden, things began to make sense.
You see, the high heart rate and the shortness of breath were symptoms that something was wrong. Each morning, my body was sending me a message—something is wrong—something is coming—-do something. I am sure the Tuesday before my rubicon was like this Tuesday morning, a normal day. I am sure that day I got the warning message and that day I excused it away. But what if I had known? What if I had known that Saturday, I would reach a point where going was not an option. Would it have changed things? Honesty, it probably would have…but I ignored the warnings.
This week, as we look forward to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, think about the fact that all the signs were there. Jesus, as the Son of God, knew His rubicon had come. It was time to fulfill the mission for which He was sent. It was time for Him to suffer and to die. Unlike me, He knew what was coming and pressed on. The reason was simple. It wasn’t that He loved the thought of enduring the abuse and suffering of the cross and the events leading up to it—no not at all. But He was in love with something else—us.
Jesus knew full well all of the details of His rubicon and went on because He loved us. It was love that led Him to cross—it was love that caused Him to place one foot in front of the other—each one leading to a Roman execution. It was love that caused Him to go all the way. Growing up, when I did something that had difficult consequences, my mama would tell me that I should have known better. Jesus knew better—and went anyway.
This week, ponder and think about the days leading to the day when Jesus died—His rubicon. Remember that He did it for me and He did it for you. When He prayed in the garden Thursday night that if there was any way this thing might pass—He knew full well it couldn’t. That is the reason He kept on praying, “nevertheless, not My will Your will be done.” In other words, He would say, “bring on the rubicon because that is why I came.”
If your week, this week has any unpleasantness or difficulties, just remember the week when He marched forward knowing full well what lay ahead—and remember He did it just so you and I could call God, Abba Father or Dearest Daddy. How amazing is that? He was able to do it because He trusted and loved His Father. And we can do it for the same reason. No matter what, we have the confident assurance that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne