After the Jewish high priest had crumbled the sweet incense upon the fire of the golden altar, after its fragrance had penetrated beyond the second veil and had covered the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat, he then himself passed beneath the veil. Every time the high priest raised the veil thus to pass under it he probably feared; for in case he had failed in any particular to carry out his sacrificial work acceptably he would have died as he passed under the veil.
So our Lord Jesus knew that His work must be acceptable in the most absolute sense, else He would forever forfeit His existence. He would become as though He had not been; He would lose all.
There was no earthly being to give our Lord encouragement along this line.
There was no one to say, You have done everything perfectly; you could not have done better.
So the Master went alone to the Father for this assurance and for strength and courage.
In Luke 22:42-39 we read:
39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
The Heavenly Father heard His prayer and gave Him the needed assurance and strength.
He was heard in respect to that which He feared; and during all that night and the following day, up to the hour of His crucifixion, He was calm and courageous.
So the Lord’s people should have a proper fear.
Proper fear is good for them.
But it should not proceed to the point of hindering their efforts and dissipating their courage.
They should have the fear enjoined by St. Paul when he said, “Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of us should seem to come short of it.” (Hebrews 4:1.)
This proper fear the Master had.
He never became discouraged, never held back from the work which the Father had given Him to do.
His fear was a filial one, which engendered a watchfulness and care, a circumspection of walk and of life, that He might be wholly pleasing to the Father. This all Christians should have. We should watch lest we neglect some privilege or duty.
This proper fear will lead us to careful inspection of ourselves.
We should ask ourselves, “What do I believe? Why do I believe it? We should go over the ground again. We should again go over in our minds the proofs of the correctness of our Faith. By so doing, the Lord will strengthen us in the Faith, He will strengthen our heart.
If any hope in themselves, and lean upon their own strength mainly, it will be to their advantage that the Lord shall allow them to come to the point of discouragement, that they may become more timid, may lose all self-assurance, may realize their utter helplessness and weakness and their need of leaning wholly upon the Lord, of looking constantly to Him for guidance and support.
As the Lord’s children thus learn to wait upon Him, to them is fulfilled the promise, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”—Isaiah 40:31.
Br. Charles T. Russell – The above post is mostly a citation from a Reprint article from “The Original Watchtowers and Herald of Christ’s Presence.” – R.5711