Holy Week continues….
There were many events on Thursday as Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with the disciples in the upper room, comforted them, went to the garden to pray, was arrested and put on trial.
For today’s scripture I chose Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane which is described in Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42 and Luke 22:39-46.
Luke 22: 39-46 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.” He withdrew about a stones throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet now 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. 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.” (NIV)
The passage in Luke adds a few things that are not mentioned in the other passages and gives some extra insight into God’s loving care of His son Jesus and of us today. Prayer with our heavenly Father is to bring us closer to Him and help to keep us from temptation. Jesus knew that communion with His Heavenly Father would strengthen Him emotionally and spiritually for the battle that was ahead of Him. Scripture tell us that Jesus was tempted but did not sin. Keeping close communion with His Father was something Jesus did often to keep balanced, free from stress and pressure, dependent upon His Father’s wisdom and aligned with His Father’s will for His life. Do you pray often? Do you seek God for strength and courage in times of trouble, stress or confusion?
Luke tells us that God the Father sent and angel to minister to Jesus as he prayed. God knew and could feel His son’s anguish over the coming events. He knew that taking on the sins of the world, feeling the evil upon his body would be excruciating both physically and mentally. He knew that taking on our sins would separate Him for a time from his Father. Jesus needed extra comfort before facing this ordeal and God sent his angel to minister to him. Who has God sent to minister or encourage you lately? How have you known God’s comfort?
Lastly, Jesus confronts his disciples and tells them to “get up and pray”. Laying down on the job does not get it done. Jesus calls us to be a people that rely on prayer and are up and willing to serve Him. Are you quick to volunteer to pray for others? Do you see prayer as an active, participating ministry? I would encourage you to get involved in a prayer ministry at your church. Praying with a like mind for others builds up the body and will encourage you in your own personal walk with the Lord.
Praying with you,