Gethsemane has become well-known to Christians; especially during the Easter season.
We know it well because this is where Jesus prays in the garden and makes a final plea to God.
After Jesus predicts Peter’s denial, He prays this heart-wrenching prayer.
But, Jesus knows as we do, the “cup” will not be removed from Him.
“Not What I Will – But What You Will..”
Even though He was scared and His human side wanted to run away, Christ was willing to die so that we might live.
Easter is a time of remembrance of that dark day in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed for God to find another way for Him.
But, if not, for God to work His will.
How about us? Do we pray “Your will be done.“?
Jesus Prays and Agonizes in the Garden of Gethsemane ( Easter Story )
“They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.”
And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled.
And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.”
And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.
And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” – Mark 14:32-42 NASB
Christ Prays to God in the Garden Of Gethsemane
This passage from Mark gives deep insight into the fear and dread Jesus felt that night in the garden.
We don’t often think of Jesus as feeling fear, do we?
But remember, He came to earth as a human – with all human emotions and frailties. So, being afraid of death and the torment which was to come was natural to Christ.
Jesus knew that He would have to be separated from God to take on the sins of mankind.
And, He knew of the terrible and unimaginable torture and death that awaited Him.
What would you do (or I for that matter) if you were in this situation?
Let God’s Will be Done
Jesus was strong enough to say, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
God’s will was first and foremost in Christ’s life — no matter what the cost.
The Story of Abdul
Thankfully, God doesn’t ask everyone to die for Him.
But, this Bible reading reminds me of the story of Abdul Rahman.
Most people no longer remember his situation as it showed as a quick blip in the news.
Abdul was a man from Afghanistan who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Even through all the threats of torture and death, Abdul stood his ground.
His choice was simple. All he had to do was renounce his belief in Christ and he would go free.
Since this event happened in 2006, I decided to do a little research to find the outcome. I’m happy to say it had a good ending.
You can read the excerpt here:
“Abdul Rahman is an Afghan citizen who was arrested in February 2006 and threatened with the death penalty for converting to Christianity.
On 26 March 2006, under heavy pressure from foreign governments, the court returned his case to prosecutors, citing “investigative gaps“.
He was released from prison to his family on the night of 27 March. On 29 March, Abdul Rahman arrived in Italy after the Italian government offered him asylum.” Source: Wikipedia
Test of Faith
Just as Abdul’s life was threatened, Christians around the world face this decision every day. Thousands are being killed simply because they chose to follow Christ.
Again, you won’t read these headlines in the news – but it’s true!
I don’t know how I would respond to a decision such as this. I would hope that my faith would be strong enough but I can’t say for sure.
This would be a horrible decision to make for any Christian, no matter how strong.
Our best hope in any situation where we are tested and led into temptation is to follow Jesus’ example in the garden by:
- finding support of friends and loved ones,
- and focusing on God’s purpose for our lives.
God’ answer to Jesus’ prayer in the garden was not the one He’d hoped for. Yet, it was the answer Christ knew would come.
What are we willing to do for God? — What did Jesus do for us?
One addition: I have been burdened in the past by some family situations.
Thankfully, I found great strength by reading about David in the third Psalm.
If you have troubles follow the example of how David prayed to God for help.
So, when you feel the weight of this world on your shoulders, pray as David did.
God is with you always. That’s His promise to us.
Love in Christ
If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16.