Jesus agonises in prayer in the garden

Thursday – So much now happens so quickly that it would be difficult to specifically go through everything. The disciples prepare for Passover and Jesus eats it with his closest friends. Jesus dips his bread knowingly at Judas. Promises are made that the disciples would never leave Him, the communion is instituted and Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the garden to pray.

Spare a thought for the disciples in this time. It’s been a busy non-stop week and Peter, James and John were exhausted. So much so that, after a large meal, when they go with Jesus out to the garden they fall asleep.

I have to say this sounds a little like a typical afternoon in our house when I was growing up. We’d all get ready for church, go to the service, come home, have a huge dinner and then my Dad who worked exhausting early mornings would drop off to sleep. I know Sunday’s are meant to be a day of rest but as a kid it was just boring! Although now as an adult with more kids around than I care to mention, the idea of a Sunday afternoon snooze is very appealing!

You may think this is a tangent, but this is actually a point. My Father’s will on a Sunday afternoon would be for me to behave, to be quiet and to give him a chance to rest. I think it is fair to say that I wasn’t always on the same wavelength!

Jesus however was. Knowing the suffering that was before Him talks to His Father, asking if it was possible some other way, but ultimately knowing that this was the plan. Here we see in this time in the garden we see the vulnerability of Jesus, the humanity, the resolve, the anguish and ultimately the obedience to do His Father’s will.

Legions of angels could have been called, the mission could have been aborted at any point and yet Jesus at this point chose to continue, knowing exactly what would await him in the physical realm of pain, the emotional control and the spiritual separation from the rest of the trinity.

At this point it could have all been game over, instead it was very definitely game on – and there was only going to be one winner!

Jesus obedience is a lesson for us to hear the voice of God and take the paths that He sets out. God’s plan for Jesus doesn’t exactly make human sense. He was to die in order to bring life, to suffer in order to save, to conquer through sacrifice. What will God give us to do? I don’t know, but no matter how it seems, and what the future looks like – following God’s plan obediently will be the only one that will truly count.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

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