As we continue looking at the Cross, our verse today takes us into the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is praying. His Disciples are a few feet away and Jesus begins to pray in earnest, Luke 22:41-42 tells us of this account. “Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (CSB) Then the Bible in the next verse tells us that an angel came and strengthened Him. (verse 23)
Jesus was praying earnestly that He wouldn’t have to go to the Cross, but He puts aside His human desires and prays for God’s Will to be done. He knew God’s plan from the beginning of time. He knew that sin could only be paid totally, for all time, through His sacrificial death on the Cross. The Bible says that He prayed so fervently that He began to sweat drops of blood. (verse 44)
This is an actual medical phenomenon, called, Hematidrosis. Small capillaries in the sweat glands break open and the person with this condition sweats drops of blood mixed with their sweat. This can be related to a person’s “fight or flight” response to situations where the person is in extreme distress where they may be facing torture or death. (information from WebMD)
For Jesus to have this condition, it tells us that He was human in that He faced a fearful situation, and as a human, didn’t want to go through with what He was facing. But we must remember He was also God. He knew His Father’s plan was the perfect plan. It was the only way to redeem mankind from the penalty of sin, and so He was willing to be obedient to His Father’s Will and become the sacrifice for us.
Following God’s Will is something we face daily. I know for me; I tend to think that Jesus’ obedience to God was easy for Him. But here we read that it wasn’t easy to push past His humanity to be obedient to the Cross. I know that following God’s Will for my life isn’t always easy either. Many times, God will be directing me in a direction I don’t want to go. I’ve had to face some hard times as we all do. Once, when I miscarried my baby the only time I got pregnant, and then when my first husband had two strokes, was disabled for seven years, and died. I never would have asked for those struggles. But I learned that even in times of distress, I was never alone. God walked through the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) with me. In the trials, God taught me something I needed to know.
When we are faced with those hard things that God wants us to walk through, it is so that His plan for our lives can be accomplished. When we walk in His perfect plan for our lives, even though it may not be pleasant, we know we can trust Him. Jesus gave us the supreme example of being obedient to the Will of God by going to the Cross. He also showed us that He knows and understands the hardships, struggles, the fear, of life. He has experienced everything we have, and He understands our feelings of fear and distress. He can help us be obedient to the Will of God, walking the pathway placed before us and coming out on the other side victorious.
Are you having a hard time following God’s Will in your life? Ask Jesus to help you. He knows and understands the distress you are feeling. Go to Him with your fears, with your unsureness, and place yourself in His Hands! He will walk through it with you. He will give you strength and put peace in your heart.