Good Friday 2021: 4 – Jesus Prays in the Garden

4 - Jesus Prays in the Garden

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)

Jesus knew that He was about to suffer unspeakable pain and suffering. He wrestles in anguish… struggling to trust in his Father. Re-read the scripture passage. It is clear that Jesus does not want to face condemnation and suffering alone. Here, we see so clearly Jesus’ humanity. He longs for His friends to simply be with Him. He struggles in torment, praying so fervently that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” In these very human moments, Jesus wants God to take the cup of suffering away from Him. Yet, even so, he says, “not my will, but Yours be done.”

Have you ever experienced something in your life that was so agonizing that all you wanted was for God to take it away? Perhaps you are there right now? In these quiet moments of reflection, can you receive the permission Jesus gives every human being to struggle… to not want to go through the pain alone… to be honest with God about how agonizing the struggle is, and how much we just want it to stop? Perhaps you might take some time to tell God what you are feeling and wanting… and to listen for God’s response….

Jesus’ sacrifice was not impulsive or spontaneous. He deliberately chose to take the journey to the cross – and His “yes” to God came at great cost.

Is there an aspect of your own life where God is asking for your “yes,” even if it comes with a cost? Talk to God about it. Ask for God’s grace to help you make the choice you need to make in love… and to trust that no matter the sacrifice or consequences, He will never leave you or forsake you.