It has been quite the week, wouldn’t you agree? Our world has shifted dramatically, causing us to readjust our schedules and patterns of life. Likely, we have been praying more, seeking God and asking for his guidance and provision in these days. In this week’s Scripture passage, we find Jesus in a stressful situation. He is very close to the Cross and seeks support from his closest companions.
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden reminds us of Jesus’ human struggle. He was not a robot void of emotion. As he approaches the challenge of the Cross, he pleads with the Father for another way. Yet in the end, he submits to the Father’s will. Another important aspect of this story is the involvement and failure of the disciples. Let me invite you to read our passage this week as you prepare for sermon this weekend.
(Matthew 26:36-46 NTE) So Jesus went with them to the place called Gethsemane.“You sit here,” he said to the disciples, “while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and began to be very upset and distressed. “My soul is overwhelmed with grief,” he said, “even to death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Then, going a little further on, he fell on his face and prayed.“My father,” he said, “if it’s possible – please, please let this cup go away from me! But . . . not what I want, but what you want.” He came back to the disciples and found them asleep.“So,” he said to Peter, “couldn’t you keep watch with me for a single hour? Watch and pray so that you don’t get pulled down into the time of testing. The spirit is eager, but the body is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went off and said, “My father, if it’s not possible for this to pass unless I drink it, let your will be done.” Again he came and found them asleep; their eyes were heavy. Once more he left them and went away. He prayed for the third time, using the same words once again. Then he came back to the disciples.“You can sleep now,” he said, “and have a good rest! Look – the time has come, and the son of man is given over into the hands of wicked people! Get up and let’s be going. Look! Here comes the one who’s going to betray me!”
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