By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Focal Passage: Luke 22:41-53
Knowing perfectly and completely every iota of suffering and shame that awaited Him, He is not looking forward to the cup of wrath that awaits Him.
“If there is any other way, any other option, let’s do that.” We might think of Him praying something like that. It is what He prays next that is so amazing. “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours, be done.”
His whole life has led to this moment, yet we see Jesus in the garden wrestling with what comes next. He surrenders Himself entirely to the Father’s will.
I always thought it was interesting the angel came to strengthen Him, but only after He said this. The angel strengthened Him after He stated His total surrender of His own will to the Father’s plan. God does not often spare us from pain, but He never wastes it. He was in agony, so He prays more earnestly.
Agony produces earnest. There is something about deep pain that strips away the grip of this life and grips us with a serious longing for God. His agony is so great, the conflict within Him so strained, that His blood begins to sweat out of Him onto the ground. Even before the cross, we see Him suffering and bleeding for us.
After this incredible scene, Jesus returns to His disciples and finds them asleep! They were asleep for sorrow, it says.
After the serious meal they just shared ending an emotional week, they were exhausted. They had just enough sorrow to sleep but they needed sleeplessness.
The disciples had enough sorrow to bring sleep and prayerlessness but not enough to bring sleepless prayer. They needed the kind of sorrow that drives them to their knees in prayer, the kind of sorrow that is so deep that nothing can bandage it but Jesus.
Finally, we see the betrayal of Christ. Jesus knew perfectly what was coming yet He still received the kiss from Judas. Once He is betrayed, a tumultuous scene occurs. There is screaming, fighting, somebody even lunges and cuts off a man’s ear! Amongst all this chaos, and ignoring His own agony, Jesus brings calm to the commotion.
He heals the man’s ear and surrenders Himself, willingly giving them the power to take Him. All that will come next will cost the Son of God dearly, but He was willing to surrender Himself and endure it in order to perfectly fulfill the Father’s will and to save you. What a great Savior! B&R