July 30, 2023

In our passage of Luke this Sunday, we see a side of Jesus we have never seen before. I imagine the disciples had probably never seen it before. On multiple occasions he had spoken so matter-of-factly about the necessity of his impending suffering and death. But as the night of his betrayal arrives and he leads his disciples to the garden of Gethsemane to pray, Jesus is undone.

He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41–44)

This wrestling with the Father in prayer may have been Jesus’ most intense moment of temptation as he felt the pull of his human nature to self-protect rather than self-sacrifice. He recoiled in anticipation of what submitting to the Father’s will to the very end would require of him. As if the physical suffering of crucifixion was not terrifying enough, for our sake God was about to make him “to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).”

Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed;
See who bears the awful load;
‘Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and Son of God.

Jesus may have fallen to his knees praying in desperation, but he rose from prayer strengthened and filled with determination to walk the lonely path to the cross and the grave for us.

This Sunday Kenny Clark will be preaching Luke 22:39-53 and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!


Gethsemane by Keith and Kristyn Getty 

To see the King of heaven fall
In anguish to His knees
The Light and Hope of all the world
Now overwhelmed with grief
What nameless horrors must He see
To cry out in the garden:
“Oh, take this cup away from me
Yet not my will but Yours!”
Yet not my will but Yours.