36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Alone wrestling with God in prayer we see:
1. JESUS IN SORROW
The Bible says “He began to be sorrowful and troubled.” (v.37). And He said “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Why was Jesus so distressed? Because He understood what was about to happen to Him. Earlier on, while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will BETRAY me…” (26:21). One of the 12, who have been with Him for 3 years, would turn his back on Jesus and betray Him for money. When they went out to the Mount of Olives, Jesus said to his disciples, “This very night you will all fall away…” (26:31). He knew those closes to Him would BETRAY and ABANDON Him.
Just two days before (26:1-2) Jesus said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away – and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” He knew He was going to die but He also knew HOW – by crucifixion, the cruelest, most torturous way for a person to die.
2. We see JESUS IN STRUGGLE
Jesus was honest with the Father. There was no covering up or acting tough. What we see in Jesus was total honesty, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me…” (26:39). What keeps you from getting honest with God are you trying to act tough… Jesus didn’t. Do you really share your struggles with God, what’s really on your heart?
3. We see JESUS IN SUBMISSION
The first time Jesus said, “…Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (v.39). Then He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (v.42).
SUBMISSION – doing the will of God, not your own.
Twice Jesus states His willingness to submit to the will of the Father. After His time alone with God what did Jesus do? The WILL of the Father. “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (45-46)
Few of us will get alone with God in the struggle, where we really wrestle through His will for our lives. Consequently only a few will live lives of significance, with a determination that comes from wrestling through God’s will. Few will rise out of prayer to go and confront the kiss of rejection head on. Are you ready to embracing the kiss of rejection that this world will plant on the cheeks of those who embrace God’s will, His plan?
We are called to be Warriors riding into the storm, the odds seem overwhelming there are so few, the enemy so many, but like Gideon’s 300 the victory is ours. It’s easier to slumber but know this, you can’t avoid the storm. I know some of you are saying but I’m not Jesus can I remind you of Todd Beamer’s final known words, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!”