As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we’re now at the point just before the Lord’s arrest. They had finished the Passover meal and were now spending the night on the Mount of Olives.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:39-40 NIV
This was the time in Jesus’ life that leads up to His betrayal and arrest. He knew that the cross was before Him. He came to earth knowing that He was to die for the sins of all people.
When it comes down to the hard choices, knowing your path and walking it out can be very different. Now that the hour was at hand, the Lord needed the strength to see it through.
In order to receive what He needed from the Father, Jesus did what He always knew would bring Him an answer. He spent time with God the Father in a private place, far away from any distractions.
This was not to be a time for crowds of people. He even left most of His disciples at the entrance to the garden. The only ones to stay with Him were Peter, James, and John. He would spend the night agonizing over what was ahead.
The disciples didn’t know it, but they were about to enter a storm of doubt and fear. Jesus wanted them to be prepared as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t have that same fervency in prayer.
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Luke 22:41-44 NIV
This is one of the simplest yet profound prayers in the Bible. It’s during these times of struggle that we dispense with the “religious protocol” of prayer. We forget about the intricate prayer charts or King James English. Our goal is to get right to the heart of the prayer – HELP!!!
It was no different for Jesus. He wasted no time on introductions. However, there’s one difference between His prayer and many of ours. This is seen in His attitude. Rather than trying to convince the Father to work out His plan in an easier way, our Lord immediately bowed His knee to the revealed will of God.
This is the example we need to follow. How often do we try to convince God to do things our way? Instead, our goal should be to learn the kind of submission that brings us right into the center of God’s will for us.
Are there things that God wants you to do that you’re having a hard time yielding to? Take this time to follow Christ’s lead. Surrender your whole life to God. Submit yourself by saying, in your own way, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:45-46 NIV
I always stand in awe of how determined Christ was to accomplish the work He was called to do. After His time in the presence of the Father we see no hesitancy or fear. He has set His face toward the path ahead.
I realize that, unlike us, He had no sin nature. However, it’s clear that He keenly felt the sting of His mortality. I believe that He also understood clearly the pain that He would have to endure. It was these realizations that brought Him to His knees in the garden.
What I really need to grab hold of is the understanding that it’s only in the presence of God that I can receive the strength and determination that it takes to move forward in my life. All of my will power and good intentions will never bring me to my destiny in the Lord. I need help from beyond myself.
Seeking intimacy with the Lord is time well spent. Use the time that you’ve been given to get into that place of safety in God. In that way – just like Jesus – you may leave your time in His presence physically drained, but you’ll be spiritually strong.
Question: What trials are you facing right now that are beyond your control?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi