Jesus Agonizing in the Garden:
“Jesus prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44).
The Bible tells us that, “Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God.” (1 Peter 3:18). Today, we’re going to begin looking at the journey that Jesus took from theGardenofGethsemaneto the Cross of Calvary, and meditate on the sufferings of Jesus. As we think about what Jesus went through, I want you to remember that what Jesus did, He did FOR YOU. He did it to show us how much He loved us, but also to pay the price for our sins, so that we could have a relationship with God. As we read through the account of Jesus agonizing in the Garden, I want you to remember this awesome truth: Even though Jesus was the divine Son of God, He was also fully human.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death…Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:14-18). I don’t know about you, but this truth is encouraging to me. God isn’t ‘way out there somewhere’, watching us from a distance. The Good News of the Gospel is that God became a human being so that He could relate to us in our suffering. Do you feel down, discouraged, rejected or alone? Jesus knows what you’re going through!
And they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. “Simon.” he said to Peter. “Are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.” Then Jesus left them again and prayed, repeating his pleadings. Again he returned to them and found them sleeping, for they just couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Still sleeping? Still resting? Enough. The time has come. I, the Son of Man, am betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. See, my betrayer is here.” (Mark 14:32-42).
If you just skimmed through that Scripture, I want to challenge you to take a moment and go back and read it again. There is such encouragement in God’s Word. I want to share with you this quote by Charles Swindoll on this passage of Scripture, taken from his book The Darkness and the Dawn, a commentary on the death and resurrection of Jesus. “At this moment, the totally innocent, sinless Son of God faces and accepts the torture and death that shortly awaits Him. And so He addresses His Father in familiar terms, “If it is possible, let this pass.” If there is any other way to redeem humanity, to pay the ultimate price for their sin, may that come to pass. And then He prays the words that have become the most familiar words in our prayer life, “Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
“That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Are you going through a difficult situation? Call on the name of the Lord today, for He is mighty to save! Our God is a God who answers prayer.
Pastor Chris Jordan