In the Garden
My dear Friend who suffered for me, let me not sleep when You draw me near, even if it is to a place of sorrow.
Read Matthew 26:36-46
 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”  When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.  So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.  Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does Jesus' obedience bring about for us?
We are given a devastating insight into the nature of the cross here as Jesus prays in the garden. The overwhelming sorrow is so powerful that Jesus speaks of it bringing him to the point of death (38). As he prays face down in the garden he asks that “the cup” be taken from him (39). This “cup” is a symbol of deep sorrow and suffering, as he carries the weight of the world’s evil upon him. Jesus’ suffering is more than physical. He is sacrificing himself, drinking the cup of judgment on our behalf at the cross. This must have been a terrifying prospect, even for the one who was fully God and fully man. It brings Jesus to his knees in desperation and horror. This is a cup that only he can drink. And, at a point where he most craves human companionship, he faces death alone (38,40). The disciples cannot keep awake.
Spend time meditating on the cup that Jesus was prepared to drink for you and me.
Precious Savior, thank You that You said yes to the Father. I long to say yes to You.
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