Partakers of his Agony

It’s Wednesday of Easter week.  When we think about that week long ago, we see that on Tuesday Jesus was going out of the temple and taught about the end times.  Not a lot is recorded about Wednesday.  Jesus knew what was coming; maybe he gave the disciples and himself a break as he prepared for what was to come.  Maybe he had private instruction time with the disciples.  We don’t really know.  We’ll find out in heaven one day.  Thursday was preparation for the Passover.  The Sanhedrin and Pharisees already hated Jesus and were ready.  Judas had already arranged his plot to hand Jesus over.  Jesus met with the disciples in the Upper Room.  They ate Passover, sang a hymn, had their feet washed by Jesus and then left the room.  Jesus was headed to the cross but we went to the Garden first.

Luke 22: 39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Jesus could have gone to the Garden alone and left the disciples in the Upper Room.  Over the years he had gone out a lot on his own to pray.  Much of Jerusalem was asleep.  It was close to midnight.  Judas had left the 12 and Jesus to get Caiaphas and the others ready.  Jesus took the 11 other disciples to Gethsemane with him.   It would have been a full moon because of Passover.  Olive trees are gnarled and would look somewhat scary in the moonlight.  Jesus told the disciples to watch and pray.  I think he wanted them to pray for him.  He left them and went into the heart of the Garden alone.  He was in agony.  Why do you think he broke down, falling on his knees?

Imagine the physical pain to come.  Worse than that, imagine bearing the sins of the entire world.  He knew what was to come.  Maybe he needed strength to go on, the resolve to go on.  Angels ministered to him just like God will do for us in our times of agony.  We’ll never go through what Jesus did, but he taught us how to approach our difficult times.  He asked if there was any other way but said nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. That’s how we should pray.

Psalms 22 is a prophetic psalm written several hundred years before anyone was ever crucified.  It lets us know the agony Jesus went through.  It shows what he was feeling.  Jesus went through the big Garden so we could go through our little gardens and say not my will but thine be done.  Jesus went in and was in agony.  He came out with resolve to go all the way to the death on the cross.  Thank God for what Jesus did for us.

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