January 26, 2023
I have stood many times in the Garden of Gethsemane, and I am always speechless. It is a sacred place, for this is where the final battle was won by our Savior. The cross and the tomb were outcomes of a prayer time. Without Gesthemane, there might not have been a cross and an empty tomb. The Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane are inextricably linked: bookends of our sin and God’s solution.
Here are some observations from Gesthemane, seen in Matthew 26.
JESUS FACED EVERYTHING FIRST IN PRAYER.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (Vs. 36)
GRIEF TO THE POINT OF DEATH IS A NATURAL PART OF A USEFUL LIFE.
And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” (Vs. 37-38)
FACE-DOWN PRAYING IS THE POSTURE OF THE OVERWHELMED AND IS OFTEN THE BEST AND ONLY PLACE TO BE BEFORE GOD.
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed. (Vs. 39)
IT’S APPROPRIATE TO REQUEST DELIVERANCE FROM A HARD, ASSIGNED TASK IF WE PRAY WITH OPEN HANDS.
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Vs. 39)
HEAVY EYES HINDER PRAYER.
And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping … Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. (Vs. 40, 43)
OUR PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER DETERMINES OUR POWER IN TEMPTATION.
Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation. (Vs. 41)
CRYING OUT MULTIPLE TIMES FOR RELEASE FROM A TOUGH ASSIGNMENT IS LEGITIMATE.
And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. (Vs. 44)
(Paul) Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)
FERVENT PRAYER MAKES US READY FOR THE TASK WHEN THE MOMENT COMES
Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” (Vs. 45-46)
Christ’s Gethsemane was a sacred place. So is ours, for each of us must go there. Persevering in Gethsemane with open hands is our gateway to fulfilling our destiny, helping others in the highest possible ways, and glorify the God who made us.
Thank you, Jesus, for not avoiding Gesthemane. For not falling asleep. Thank You for praying through. Thank You for surrendering to the Father and for a willingness to grieve to the point of death for me … and then to die for me. Thank You, Father, for Your willingness to hold the line and not bow to Your compassion for Your only begotten Son. To allow Him to suffer on our behalf. Thank You, Father, Son, and Spirit, for Gesthemane.
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