'Day One' Blog

The War in Gethsemane, March 18, ’20

(Each Lent entry will give us a few days to ponder and sit with the Lord surrounding the scripture passages in that entry. The paragraphs following the passages are intended to give some guidance as we draw into the presence of God and dialogue with Him.)

Meditation for the Soul ~

And when the devil had ended every temptation,
he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:13
And when He came to the place, He said to them,
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw,
and knelt down and prayed, saying,
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.
Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours, be done.”
And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven,
strengthening Him.
And being in agony He prayed more earnestly;
and His sweat became like great drops of blood
falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:40-44
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 14:38

Reflection for the Mind ~

Jesus’ humanity was stretched to the tearing point as He repeatedly asked, “Let this cup pass from me.” If those hours were the “opportune time” referenced in Luke chapter four, then the attack that Satan waged in the garden was unprecedented. This would have been the last opportunity for the adversary to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross, and Jesus would never have been more vulnerable than He was in the garden.

Jesus invited Peter, James, and John to be within earshot of His prayers, allowing them to practice resisting the tempting presence permeating that garden space. Their souls too were sorrowful. Jesus knew that and instructed them to do what He was going to be doing. Here both Savior and those being saved were allowed to be tested by the great tempter, their weakened flesh being Satan’s point of entry.

The collision of forces battling that evening in both the seen and unseen worlds would have been the battle of the ages, literally. The whole course of history was about to dramatically shift, sealing the fate of the adversary once and for all, and bringing the hope of real redemption to humanity.

Nothing that took place there in the garden was unknown to God. The strategy of battle was in place from eternity and God knew who would win. Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the help of a ministering angel, stayed the course throughout the entire ordeal in Gethsemane. In those final moments before His arrest, when He still had time to opt-out, Jesus stayed the course!

Response for the Heart ~

As I see the garden in my mind, my eyes are drawn to You, Jesus. You were prepared for the battle. You were not alone in the battle, relying upon the Spirit and the love of the Father to provide for you where Your flesh would not be able to. I know nothing of the anguish You endured or the sorrow of Your soul. But I praise You, victorious one, who prevailed in those most torturous hours! Speak to me, Lord so that I might know all You mean for me to know about Your hours in the garden.
~ Amen

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