Saturday, February 24, 2018
39And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.g 45And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Forfeit My Agenda
You’ve got a plan, an agenda and you know it’s good. And if you plan your work and work your plan, you’ll be successful, right? That’s what the books say, and humanly speaking there is a lot of truth to this idea.
Jesus was fully God and fully man. In this passage we see his humanity struggle with the will of the Father in light of his imminent suffering and death. Jesus realized that in a few hours he would carry the weight of the world’s sin in his body. God’s agenda: “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Cor 5:21. That’s an amazing agenda.
Our struggles are real and intense, even though not to the extreme of what our Savior endured, they are real. And like us, he battled with whose agenda to follow. Do we do the expedient and easy thing or do we do the right thing, that will cost us. Do we satisfy our darker desires or do we allow them to be consumed by the Cross trusting in God’s greater good for us. Do we stick to our plan for success or do we bank success eternally on Jesus and set the rest of the agenda in place behind Christ. We face these decisions in big and small ways every day. And they are tough.
As Jesus prayed in the garden Gethsemane, he prayed so fervently in his angst that “sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” While humanly desiring the Father remove the cups of suffering, he knew his suffering and death were necessary for our salvation and the fulfillment of the Father’s plan. Jesus ultimately prayed, “Not my will but your be done.” Because, though tremendously hard (that’s an understatement), it was the pathway to greater joy (Heb.12:2).
His is the most amazing prayer and commitment to obedience ever. A surrender to death that we might know life and have it abundantly. That is amazing love, but it is also an amazing example to follow, by faith.
Father, help me to surrender my agenda and accept your will, your priority, your design for good, even when it hurts. Help me to be obedient when I do not understand. Lord, your agenda and your will be done in me today. Amen.