Let’s talk about Jesus.
The seven days before Good Friday are generally referred to as the “Passion week.” It is during this time that we think deeply about what Jesus went through for each of us as He made the journey to the cross, where he shed His blood for us and ultimately rose from the dead.
Let’s follow Him step-by-step together.
Before that precious blood would be shed, there would be agony in a garden–the Garden of Gethsemane.
And what do we find Jesus doing in this Garden?
Praying! He was giving us the example of what we are to do when it seems like our world is ending.
In this unique and insightful portion of Scripture, we are given a rare “behind the scenes” look at the personal struggle of Jesus as He contemplated the cup He had to drink.
The Bible says, “He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). But the sorrow He experienced in Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all the sorrow He had ever known, accelerating to a climax the following day.
We cannot even begin to grasp the anguish Jesus was experiencing at this moment because, being omniscient, He was fully aware of what lay ahead.
Jesus knew the future, and it wasn’t pretty
It has been said “Ignorance is bliss,” and “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”
There is some truth to these statements. For Jesus, being God, knew full well what horrors awaited Him.
He knew that in just a few short hours He would go to a Roman cross to be crucified. This, of course, would be after a time of humiliation, beating, and a horrendous whipping.
He knew Judas would betray Him and Peter would deny Him. He knew He would have to bear all the sin of the world.
I’m glad I don’t know the future. Aren’t you glad you don’t?
This time at Gethsemane was, next to the cross itself, probably the loneliest moment of His life.
We need to remember this in our moments of loneliness, when we feel like our friends and family have let us down (or even when we think God has let us down).
Remember this: Jesus has been there, and He is there for you!
He knows what you’re going through!
Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us, ”We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV).
We will face our own “Gethsemanes” in life. By that, I mean a time when perhaps life is not making any sense. When your problems seem to great to bear. When you are seemingly overwhelmed.
Much is said about the cross (and rightly so), but keep in mind that here in the Garden of Gethsemane we see the decision agonizingly made that took Him to the cross!
The ultimate triumph that was to take place at Calvary was actually accomplished first beneath the gnarled old olive trees of Gethsemane.
None of the wonderful things promised during Jesus’ ministry–the promise of eternal life, the sending of the Holy Spirit as comforter, Jesus’ return for His church–would have happened if the events before us did not take place first.
Jesus prayed a prayer in Gethsemane that we all should pray. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 NKJV).
Not my will, but yours be done.