Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
~Matthew 26: 38-39, 42
I think the Garden of Gethsemane sometimes gets a little overlooked throughout the Easter story, but it’s important. This is the part where we see that Jesus really was human. Here is Jesus, the Son of God, on his knees pleading with the Father that He find some other way.
There was a part of Jesus that didn’t want to do this.
Luke’s account of this story says that Jesus sweat became like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Other translations say that he actually sweated blood. How hard does your anguish have to be that that happens? I can kind of imagine it happening – I’ve had moments in my own life, where I’ve just had so much anguish that I could feel the tension and tightening in my brow and temples, but to actually see capillaries break so that blood starts coming out?
Jesus was anguished. He was in agony. Yet even in that pain, that struggle, his final determination was that God’s will be done.
“If this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
Honestly? I think this is one of the most powerful things that Jesus ever said.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” ~John 15:13
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8
There is so much just in these verses and those around them to talk about, but today, there’s one thing I want focus on.
Jesus loves us.
It’s Easter Sunday – Resurrection Sunday – when we celebrate that Jesus not only died, but actually rose again. He conquered death so that we do not have to suffer through it.
And it was love that drove him to do that. Love so great that even when we weren’t his friends, Jesus gave his very life – not because he wanted to, but because it was needed. It was God’s will.
When I think about what it means to be intrepid as a Christian. When I think of the characteristics that I want to have, it sits pretty high up on the priority list, to be able to accept and follow God’s will, no matter how hard that might seem. No matter what God’s will is for my life, it’s fairly unlikely that I’m going to have to go through what Jesus did.
Jesus, when he was facing death, said to God, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
What would be different in our lives if we lived with this attitude?