Friday, April 9, 2010

In the Garden

Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11

When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew He would be arrested, put through a series of trials and humiliated. All of the gospel writers made it clear that Jesus [knew] all things that would come upon Him. Nothing was a surprise or out of His and the Father’s control. 
This same Jesus understood fully all that His dying would entail. He knew what pain he would bear before He ever set foot in the garden. There in the garden He prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” During Jesus prayer that night, every sorrow He had ever known seemed to attack Him all at once. We could never comprehend the depth of Christ’s agony or the terror of divine wrath the way that He did that night.
The disciples were familiar with the Garden of Gethsemane they had gone there with Jesus ofttimes before (John 18:2). On this particular night, the disciples had all been instructed to, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” Luke 22:40. Jesus had told them of the awful trial they were about to witness and yet they fell asleep leaving Jesus to bear His anguish alone.
Why was Jesus feeling such agony? Was He dreading the physical pain of the cross among the tortures of the scourging? Would He be fearful of what man could do to Him? He could not. He Himself taught: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28. What Christ dreaded most was the outpouring of divine wrath He would have to endure from the Father. His cry of anguish in Matthew 27:46: “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” expresses Christ’s human expression of passion (suffering).

The Gethsemane prayer gives us a window into the heart of Christ as He surrenders to the complete supreme sacrifice on our behalf. The Holy Son of God who had never known even the most insignificant sin would become sin for us. The thought of this undertaking literally made Him sweat drops of blood. When Christ finished praying that night in the garden, He had the victory He had sought. He would go to the cross in perfect harmony with the will of His Father.

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