Jesus leads the disciples out of the upper room and into a garden on the Mount of Olives that He frequented for prayer on that tense night. When He reached their spot, He told the disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation, and went on a little further to a solitary place to pray. It’s funny isn’t it that He told to pray not to fall into temptation without telling them what sort of temptation they were about to face. Would they be tempted with too much wine, with women, with a crooked business deal…?
Not on that night of nights.
Alone, Jesus prays…
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (22:42-44)
While Jesus went to the cross willingly, He wasn’t entirely thrilled with the prospect; who can blame Him? Look at His prayer: He asked if there was another way forward, but if not then God’s will is the only will He would do. He certainly had the raw power to avoid the cross; He could have spoken the word, and His tormenters would have fallen dead.
But He would not speak that word.
An angel ministered to Him giving strength. His sweat fell “like drops of blood”. Note that His sweat was not blood, it was sweat, but it fell “like” blood to the ground; He was really sweating. Yet even in the midst of His anguish, He was submissive to the will and purpose of His Father.
And the least among you will be the greatest…
Arising from prayer, He returned to the disciples only to find that they had fallen asleep, exhausted from sorrow. He woke them up and told them to pray that they don’t fall into temptation.
Little did they know that temptation was just about to arrive upon the scene…