On this day, we find ourselves in the upper room with Jesus and the disciples to celebrate the Passover Festival. Of course, we know it was going to be the last Passover meal that Jesus would celebrate with his disciples, but to them… it was business as usual.
Jesus knows this is one of the last times He has them all together, so he washes their feet to show them the example of service and love He wants them to demonstrate, and then He prays for them… while encouraging them to bravely face the hardships that awaited (since He knows what all is yet to come).
Afterwards, they head to the garden at Gethsemane to spend time in prayer. The disciples (not knowing the full ramifications of what they need to be praying for) fall asleep even though Jesus implores them to stay alert and to pray. We may not always know what is right around the corner, but I pray we are never caught sleeping when the need is great.
Jesus, however, steps away to spend time in prayer by Himself… and reveals a piece of His humanity in the process:
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.”
He knew what was coming… it would be the cross. Though, Jesus would die willingly for our redemption, this prayer shows us the magnitude of what was about to take place.
As the night fell.. the hour of betrayal was upon us, and Judas (whose feet were so recently cleaned by Jesus Himself) would lead a band of soldiers to arrest our Lord and take Him away.
Jesus’ prayer in the garden that night reveals the desperate measures that God would orchestrate to save us. This was not going to be easy, but it was worth it. God’s love compelled Him to give His son to save mankind. Jesus’ humanity (fully man, fully God) showed through as He, for a brief moment, almost seems to inquire about another way to accomplish His mission. But in the end He leaves us with another lesson:
God’s will always trumps our own.