Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-40, Luke 22:40-44; John 18:1-2
Then Yeshua went with his talmidim to a place called Gat-Sh’manim (Gethsemane)… (Matthew 26:36)
When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be put to the test.” (Luke 22:40)
Then Yeshua said, “Sit here while I go over there and pray. ” He took with him Kefa (Peter) and Zavdai’s (Zebedee) two sons (John and James). Grief and anguish came over him, and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake with me. ” Going on a little farther, (about a stone’s throw away from them … [Luke 22:41]), he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!” (Matthew 26:36-39)
There appeared unto him an angel from heaven giving him strength, and in great anguish he prayed more intensely, so that his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:43-44)
He returned to the talmidim (disciples) and found them sleeping (Matthew 26:40) (because of their grief … Luke 22:45). He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with me for even an hour? Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test— the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”
A second time he went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what you want be done.” Again he returned and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy. (Matthew 26:40-43) … and they didn’t know what to answer him. (Mark 14:40)
Leaving them again, he went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the talmidim (disciples) and said, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest …. Look! The time has come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!” (Matthew 26:44-46)
Never will I forget that night in Gethsemane. Gethsemane means “oil press.” That night I was “pressed out of measure” (II Corinthians 1:8). My heart was broken because of the sins of the world, the cruelty of man, the unfaithfulness of friends. The agony of every person’s pain and grief because of disloyal friends and the betrayal of those who had been close confidants fell upon My soul. I knew how terribly My disciples would suffer in the future. I begged them to pray with Me to give Me strength to pray through. But like so many of your friends and family members, they fell asleep while I agonized in the throes of death. When one goes down into the Valley of Death, one always is alone. No one is with you to help you or save you from the tears which you must shed to be perfected in the beauty of God which suffering alone can give you. Few can pay the same price that you do to obtain the work of Grace which you are obtaining through your present suffering. But they will have their opportunity also to be perfected, and when that happens you can pray for them with understanding.
That night in the Garden of Gethsemane I agonized for the millions of young men who had died on the battlefields of the world in wars that were fought because of the pride of powerful and sometimes evil rulers, the mothers who had died in childbirth, the children who had died in plagues, and all of the terrible suffering that humanity had endured since time began. The agony of it all crushed Me to the ground. As every man and woman’s grief seized hold of My heart I fell under the burden of it all. I knew that if I was not strengthened supernaturally, My physical body would not be able to bear the strain of the scourging and the crucifixion which I faced in the next twelve hours.
Three times I asked My beloved friends to pray for Me, and three times I found them sleeping. I knew that if they didn’t pray, they too would not have the strength to stand in the hour of testing.
The angel came to Me and poured supernatural strength into Me. He came, sent by the Father, with divine strength. And this same angel is available for you too, if you will pray when you are bowed down with the crushing load of betrayal, rejection, hatred, pain, grief, and the sin and sorrows of the world.
Don’t try to succeed in your own strength. Look to the Father! He will send His angel to help you so that you can pray through to victory, even when there is no one else who will pray with you. So don’t give up, for if there is no one to help you, there always are the angels who will be there for you.
I prayed through. When Judas and the soldiers arrived I was ready to face My enemies. When you have prayed through your dark hours and received angelic strength, you too will be ready to face your enemies. Fear not!
From the Heart of Jesus by Gwen Shaw
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