You know that you are about to face the darkest hour of your life, you are about to be let down by friends and deserted. You know that one of them will even go so far as to turn against you even though you have persistently showed love to them. What are you doing? If you knew that you were entering your final days and hours where would we find you?
Read Mark 14:32-42
Where do we find Jesus in the last few hours? The answer is that we find him praying. His disciples, who are about to desert him are sleeping. One of them has already slipped away to betray him. But Jesus is praying. He is talking to his Father.
Specifically, he asks that if it is possible, the cup of suffering may be taken from him. In human terms, he would prefer not to go through the horrendous torture that he is about to experience. Yet, he submits to the Father’s Will. He is willing to go to the Cross, even for sleeping, deserting, denying, betraying followers.
It is sometimes said that the battle was won in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was because Jesus overcame the tempter here that he was able to die for our sin. Here, we see Jesus recapitulate or play back that previous Garden temptation. In Eden, Adam, the first man succumbed to the tempter and placed his will, his desire over God’s. Here Jesus subordinates his will, his desire to the Father’s. He says yes to God and no to The Serpent, to Satan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve take fruit that they were told not to. In Gethsemane, Jesus would prefer not to take the fruit (cup of suffering) held out to him and yet does, for us.
There are I think two important applications here. First, we should be encouraged and challenged by Christ’s example. Will we be found in prayer when the trial comes?
Secondly, we have more than an example in Jesus. We are reminded once again that he went willingly to Calvary on our behalf, in our place at great cost to himself.