Reading: Luke 22:39-46
And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” [NASB1995®]
Luke allows us to look at the most intimate moments of our Lord’s passion.
The deciding moment is approaching. The night has come, and in the darkness those who love darkness move: those who prepare treason and infamy.
We know that what has to happen will not surprise Jesus. He has announced this, and it must be done.
We might meditate on several things in this passage, but I would like to invite you to focus your attention on how the Lord faces his most distressing hour
He does something that is habitual for Him: Jesus, Luke tells us, retires to pray, to the Mount of Olives, as usual. The Lord’s natural response to this moment is not a final resource, it is what has sustained Him all this time. Prayer, a manifestation of Jesus’ dependence on the Father, is habitual, natural. Don’t wait for difficult circumstances to seek God. May it be natural in your life to live praying at all times. And then, when the test comes, it won’t be strange to meet it on your knees.
He finds His strength in communion with the Father: The greater his agony, the more intensely he prayed. And an angel strengthened him. When the winds blow harder, to where will we raise our gaze if not to the Lord? Let us not fail. Our strength cannot come from ourselves, but from the One who is steadfast. Prayer does not magically erase problems nor is it a way to escape them, but we can pour out our troubles, sorrows and anguish before our God and know that He hears us. Prayer helps us rest in His plan.
It teaches us that we need to pray: The disciples were sad and discouraged, but the Lord gives them this valuable lesson. Pray always, live depending on the Lord every day. And above all, on the day of anguish. Difficulties can cloud our understanding, they can make us think that God is not close, that He does not understand our pain, or on the contrary, that He understands if we do not pray so much at those times. But no, my brother. When the night is darker, seek God more. We always need Him, and we need Him more in the middle of the confusion.
MEDITATE: If in the moment of greatest difficulty the Lord showed his weakness, how can we think that we can live autonomously, without seeking the Lord in every moment of our lives?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader