These last few passages will take place during Jesus’ last week before he goes to the cross. Today we come to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus goes to Gethsemane where he wrestles in prayer as he prepares to go to the cross.
This is a true struggle for Jesus. Up to this point Jesus has been firm and resolute in all his actions. He has shown himself to be the one in charge. He has been unwavering in his determination to follow the Father’s leading all the way to the cross. But something different happens at Gethsemane. At Gethsemane we see Jesus come the closest to reversing course. So far Jesus has been clearly saying in all his words and actions, “Father, lead me to the cross.” But at Gethsemane Jesus almost comes to the point of saying, “Don’t lead me to the cross.”
Here at Gethsemane Jesus is crushed and overwhelmed with sorrow as he is pressed to his very limits.
Temptation can be overwhelming to any of us, but what Jesus experienced at Gethsemane goes far beyond anything you and I have ever experienced or ever will experience. Jesus’ sorrow and suffering and abandonment are all part of his passion, all part of the suffering he must undergo on our behalf. Jesus doesn’t use his God-card and try to get out of it. If he is to truly suffer and die for sin, he must experience true suffering and true death. He will not coast through it as a superhuman. Rather, he will suffer through it as a true human being. And that is why he prayed the way he that that late evening.
Jesus didn’t stop praying until he came to a place of peace in God’s will. When should you stop praying for something? Not until you have overcome. Not until you have come to the place of trusting God and his will in the matter. We give up and we give in far too easily. We need to learn to pray through to victory, but many times it must first come through the many temptations and pain that this life will inevitably bring.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for all that you had to endure for us. We know that it was not easy and why you had to cry out to God the Father for his will to be ultimately done. May we have the same urgency to pray and respond in obedience to do the Father’s will in the same way as Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen