36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 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.”
I love this passage of scripture for many reasons but one of the main reasons is because we see the humanity of Jesus on display. We see Him questioning, overwhelmed and dealing with confusion and frustration. Yet, even in all of that He is still fully surrendered and ready for the Father to use Him. To pray the prayer of “not as I will, but as you will” is a bold and dangerous prayer. Dangerous in the way that we are choosing to surrender to Him, whatever that looks like. God takes us at our word! What we would assume would be where God would send us is often not. He works in ways we don’t understand and that is the beauty of the Kingdom.
I don’t know about you but this makes me reflect on the weight of what Jesus did on the cross for us even more deeply. He was confused, in deep pain, overwhelmed and exhausted and yet He still went to that cross for each one of us. I find it’s easy to forget or just to get “used to” the fact that God sent His son to die on the cross and maybe that’s because I’ve heard it so frequently since being young growing up in the church but we must not let it just become ‘something’ when it changes EVERYTHING.
Jesus dying on the cross brought you and I complete freedom, grace, forgiveness, friendship, closeness with our Father, purpose, joy, rooted identity, and so much more. The list goes on (and on and on).
Lastly, I want to point out how even in the busy-ness of Jesus’ life, His first priority is always to be with His Father. On multiple occasions He intentionally takes himself away from the crowds, from His friends to be in the secret place with God. When we feel overwhelmed or heavy with the weight of everything we are living with the temptation to surround ourselves with our friends, family, mentors, pastors… who I’m sure are all great people but it can sometimes distract us from being with the One who we really need to be with. God is the only place we are going to find true rest and peace amongst the chaos.
I want to leave you with a few questions to reflect on:
- How often to you go to the ‘secret place’? The place that is only you and God and there’s no distractions or interruptions. Do you go there in the good times as well as the hard?
- Where is the first place you go when you feel overwhelmed? If it isn’t God, consider why.
- Have you ever prayed the prayer “not as I will, but as you will”?
Happy Easter friends. I pray the truth of this holiday settles on your heart. There is freedom in the blood of Jesus! Celebrate with anyone and everyone you know! It’s SO worth celebrating.
Lots of love.