Matthew 26:36 – 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." (NIV)
It is almost a year since I was in Jerusalem. We stayed up on the Mount of Olives, which was a thrill in itself. On Palm Sunday we proceeded down the Mount of Olives, on foot, headed toward the eastern gate of the city of Jerusalem. We stopped at the Garden of Gethsemane and, entering in, followed in our Bibles and read of Jesus' time spent in that Garden.
Let's pause here and let me reflect. Perhaps we can catch the moment together. It was into the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus went with his disciples to pray. He went a little way off and told his disciples to watch while he prayed. Reflecting in Gethsemane on this, I felt there was a little hesitation in Jesus' spirit when He prayed: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me." (Luke 22:42a NIV)
I cannot say this with any certainty, and it was just for a moment, but as I read these words, I felt Jesus straining, in his humanness, against the cross. Jesus continued to pray with the Father: "Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39b NIV)
Jesus knew He had to carry on to the cross, so that we might find our way to heaven's door. Where would we be if He hadn't? He suffered the cross and died for our sins that we might have life eternal through Him.
That moment in the Garden, alone with the Father, made a vital difference for us.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for that moment in the Garden when You the Father and the Son were one in prayer together. Thank You for our salvation, accomplished through the precious blood of Jesus, shed for us while He was in the flesh. Amen.