Thursday, April 1, 2021 5:19 AM

Thursday: His Agony and Our Success

Thursday, April 1, 2021 5:19 AM
Thursday, April 1, 2021 5:19 AM

Matthew 26:17-46

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your placea]">[a] with my disciples.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?”

23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”

“You have said it,” he told him.

26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is my blood of the covenant,b]">[b] which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

31 Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will fall away because of me, for it is written:

I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.c]">[c]

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

33 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away because of you, I will never fall away.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

35 “Even if I have to die with you,” Peter told him, “I will never deny you,” and all the disciples said the same thing.

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 He said to them, “I am deeply grievedd]">[d] to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther,e]">[e] he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if thisf]">[f] cannot passg]">[g] unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And he came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.

44 After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.”

 


We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique—they are the gateway into life for us. 

It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of God— Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan’s assault was that our Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man. If Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11–15). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier wilderness temptation—“. . . the devil . . . departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan’s final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane. 

The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God.

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