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In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays with earnest and resolute faith in the face of the cross, forgiving us and giving us hope and life in our weakness.

Luke 22:39-53

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

Cross,Jesus,God,Holy Spirit,Daily Devotion,Pray

Reading this passage, there was one thought I could not escape:  I have never prayed like that.  Even in my darkest or most desperate moments, I have never prayed like Jesus prays here in the Garden of Gethsemane.  We know that our Lord Jesus was tempted in every way as we are; and I cannot even imagine how great was the temptation to walk away… to do something, anything that wasn’t dying on that cross.  Suffocated by the mockery of the world whilst bearing the weight of the same world’s sin, and worse, bearing the darkness of God’s righteous wrath and judgement for this sin.

Yet, in Jesus’ moving and profound humanity, and even as he prays that this cup of suffering and wrath might be taken away from him, in the same breath he prays those resolute, faithful words, “yet, not my will, but yours be done.”  Jesus remained utterly faithful to his mission; utterly submissive to the will of his Father.  And it is clear that Jesus was submissive to no one but his Father.  As the events leading up to his crucifixion begin to unfold, Jesus is clearly in control.  He was no victim of circumstance.  These are the events that all of history has awaited… toward which the whole Bible points.  Even their hour of darkness was granted to them by God. 

In all of this, I remind myself of the disciples: sleeping when they should have been praying;  faithless and afraid, compared with Jesus’ faith and resolve;  exhausted with sorrow, just not getting it… when all of God’s word, and Jesus himself, has told them what these events mean.

But isn’t that why Jesus died – to forgive us for our weak, faithless, sinful hearts?  To face death in our place, to set us free and make us like him.  And he rose again so that we might be made new – even now – to be filled with his Spirit and walk as his disciples, walking with courage and faith because of his – even amidst our weakness and failures.

Head:  How does this passage highlight both Jesus’ humanity and divinity?

Heart:  What conviction and comfort does your heart find in this picture of Jesus as he prays, and is arrested?

Hands:  What and who do you need to pray for today – earnestly praying, knowing that in Christ, God is your Father and that he hears and answers prayer?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, what a privilege it is to pray to you as my Father.  Thank you that I am your child in Christ.  Thank you, Lord, for Christ’s faithfulness and integrity, and that his positive righteousness is mine, even when I am weak and when I sin.  Thank you that he went through the agony of the cross, to forgive my sin, and make me yours.  Oh Lord, teach me to pray, today – for your glory and my joy.  Amen.

A song to listen to:   Man of Sorrows

Bloss Wilson

This Grow Daily was  originally posted as part of the Bible in 10 series in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.

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