Holy Week: Thursday
John 13-18, Luke 22:7-23, Matthew 26:17-46, Mark 14:12-42
It is Thursday. Jesus’ final hours are a whirlwind. He shares intimate moments with his closest friends, and yet there is a “black cloud” hanging over every moment. He teaches the disciples truths about servanthood and the Holy Spirit who had not yet been poured out. He institutes the Lord’s Supper. He is betrayed by Judas. He stands “trial.” Peter denies knowing him.
But even in the midst of the whirlwind, there is one particularly beautiful moment. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus humbles himself and submits himself to the will of God — despite desperately seeking some way to avoid the path of pain before him. Matthew records the words of Jesus as he entered the garden, and they give us a glimpse into the mind of our Savior as he prepared to go to the cross for our sins. “Then [Jesus] said to [the disciples], ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death…’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:38-39).
Jesus didn’t pray this just once. He repeated this prayer three different times while in the Garden of Gethsemane. Make no mistake: Jesus went to the cross willingly — but this moment reveals how great his struggle was. Despite his agony in contemplating the suffering of the cross, he submitted himself to the will of the Father so that we could be forgiven.
I cannot help feel thankful and in awe of the love of my Savior. Even when Jesus fell on his face before his Father, pleading for escape from the suffering he was about to endure, Jesus chose humility and love. I cannot help but love him more as I think over these words.