Lessons from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Lent Series Week 5)

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Lessons from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Lent Series Week 5)

Read Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46

Today, we venture into a section of Scripture that breaks my heart. As a friend of Jesus, and as someone (like you) who is getting to know him better and better, the passages that capture Jesus’ final days are difficult to read. But they are so very, very crucial to understanding why he came.

I’m not naive enough to compare my suffering and pain with that of Jesus. But this past year I had what was, for me, a Garden of Gethsemane moment. I felt God asking me to do something that would cause deep pain. I prayed, as Jesus did, that God would allow for a different scenario: a much less painful one. If there was another way, I wanted it. I prayed for it. I cried for it. But in the end, no other way was revealed, and I submitted to God’s way. His will was not mine, but by his strength and because of my trust of him, I submitted.

Now, as I again read Jesus’ garden plea for an alternate plan, I am struck not by what he experienced, but how he experienced it. I’m challenged to more intentionally follow his example the next time I have a Garden of Gethsemane moment.

Look at the words from Scripture:

Then Jesus went with them.” (Matt. 26:36) Jesus knew he was God’s son. He knew the plan was for him to die (he told his disciples several times) and he knew the time was coming. Even the one and only Son of God does not travel the road alone. This blows my mind. I often think of Jesus as an American Superman – an individualistic immortal who takes on death all by himself. But in reality, he is the fully human incarnation of God – and he is a great example of how to live in healthy community. He has existed in the community of the Trinity for eternity, and he lived as a man in community. When he faced the greatest trial, he brought his friends to battle. The next time I go into a Garden moment, I will do the same.

“…an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently...” (Luke 22:43-44) In these words I’m challenged again. Christ’s example reminds me that God’s help is not for our reduction of stress and pain, his help is for our strength. God’s help is for our ability to accomplish what he wants us to accomplish. I have to admit that when I enter Gethsemane moments, my prayer is for God to take me out of the garden. I virtually never pray for him accomplish what he wants to accomplish in the garden. In different words: I pray to be delivered from the agony, not to be strengthened through the agony, but Jesus exemplified the latter.

Reflection

You might be in the middle of a Garden of Gethsemane moment right now. If so, have you asked your fellow believers and friends to come with you, or are you trying to face it alone?

In your reading again of this portion of Jesus’ journey, were you confronted by any new perspective or realizations? What were they?

Check out the first post in our Lenten devotional here.

This was an excerpt from Easter is Coming, a Devotional Journey with Jesus. For all six weeks of Lent devotionals, please download the e-book here.

About The Author
Chris Greer
Hi y’all! My name is Christopher and I live in Costa Mesa, CA with my amazing wife, Kerry. I’m a writer and a Young Adult Pastor at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA. And this is how good God is: I was born in the greatest state in the Union (Texas!) and I now live, work, and write in one of the most beautiful places on the planet (Southern California!). Life is good. I am excited that you have found Trochia, a place online to be mentored through God’s grace and truth. God has used mentorship relationships to change my life. Keenan, my friend and former boss helped me to see that my work and relationships were about far more than just “getting the job done.” My current mentor, Stan, is a Christian author who has taught me that Christians (no matter what age) can be intellectually engaged with God and culture in a way that is current, fun, and makes disciples. And I’m forever thankful to God for my parents who are my most influential mentors in faith, marriage, family, and life. Without mentorship, I would not be the man I am. That is why mentorship, along with God’s calling for us to “make disciples” and “teach them to obey everything that [He] commanded” (Matthew 28:19-20), is part of everything I do as a writer and as a young adult pastor. I hope that Trochia will be a resource that helps you receive God’s grace and understand His truth, so that you can take one obedient step after another and mentor others along the way. Check out my two latest devotional books: Easter Is Coming and Christmas Is Coming, available through Amazon.com.
1 Comments
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  • Linda Dixon
    April 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    It is good and “right” to ask for friends, or loved ones to be in prayer with you about things that weigh on your heart. Jesus said… “where there are two or more together in my name, I am there with you” … “in the midst of you”

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