Saturday, March 29, 2014

Station One - Jesus in Gethsemane

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Luke 22:39-46
Devotional: Jesus agonized in prayer in the garden that evening. He did not quickly embrace the cross though he did eventually. Most of my Sunday School notions of Jesus were very different than this. I always put the emphasis on the God-part of Jesus. I wasn't comfortable with the Man-part. After all wouldn't that fact that Jesus was God sort of cancel out and override the fact that he was human? Apparently not. Three of the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke all emphasize how much Jesus agonized in the Garden. The one physician among them, Luke, even tells us that Jesus prayed so intensely that his sweat became like drops of blood. So no matter how you look at it - the fact was that Jesus struggled in the Garden. I'm not sure how you feel about that. For me - it broadens and deepens my understanding of the verse in Hebrews that tells us that Jesus “in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). So we have a Savior who really understands us when we are tested and feel weak and afraid. It may be hard to get our heads around it - but the truth is that Jesus understand my struggles because he had at least one of his own.

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