“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 stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not 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.’” Luke 22:39-46
Did you notice in the beginning of this scripture passage that it says, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives?” I was curious about that and so I looked at my footnotes and it said to look at Luke 21:37 “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple and each evening He went out to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.” Every night starting with the Triumphal Entry to the night in which Jesus was betrayed, He went out to pray.
Jesus was preparing Himself for the “Battle of all- time” that would change history and our lives forever. He made himself ready by praying and spending time with His Father. Jesus knew what He had to do and He was struggling with it and so He would pour out His heart to His Father.
We cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus went through that night, but I would venture to guess that we have all wrestled in understanding God’s will for our lives. Have you ever struggled with something until you are completely worn out? My husband and I right after we were married had to make one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made. We decided to leave the church where I was serving as Minister of Youth and Christian Education, and where my husband had served as a volunteer in their youth ministry programs for over 13 years. We had just celebrated our wedding their a few short weeks before that time. Our hearts broke into a million pieces and we felt like part of us had died. At that time there was not another choice for us, we had tried everything that we knew how to do in order to stay. Even though we were stricken with grief and overwhelming sorrow we felt a peace with our decision because we knew that was what God wanted us to do at that time. Since then, God has brought us back home, and we have felt great joy in seeing how God’s hand was at work the whole time for us.
Jesus knew what God’s will was and how it had to be fulfilled so that we could be saved from our Sins. God sent an angel to minister to Him to give Him strength, so that He could do what would need to be done.
On this Maundy Thursday, my prayer for each of you is that you would always come before God with your joys and your sorrows. He wants to carry your burdens for you; you are not alone in your struggles. May you find the peace, joy, hope, and love that can only come from knowing our Redeemer, Savior, and friend, Jesus Christ.