In the garden called Gethsemane; Gods pity and compassion for us was embodied in His Son. In Eden Adam became a Sinner and lost eternal life with God for all of his descendants.
From that day forward the sins of mankind would begin filling a cup. A cup that the second Adam, Jesus, would drink in full, taking the worlds sins upon Himself on the Cross satisfying the wrath of His Father towards us; opening by faith a way for us to regain paradise lost and have life with God.
“And Jesus went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray. (Mark 14:35).
The verb in the Greek phrase translated “fell to the ground” is in the imperfect tense, suggesting a continual action. In other words, Jesus literally kept falling to the ground in prayer, crying out to His Father, then rising to His feet, only to fall again to the ground in prayer.
Renaissance paintings of Jesus in the Garden show a calm and serene Jesus kneeling beside a rock, crowned in moonlight, mislead us. Mark described a Jesus wrestling with His destiny, pacing, falling to the ground over and over again, desperately petitioning His Father for relief, and entreating Him as a young son would his daddy: “Abba / Daddy Jesus cried over and over.”
Then Jesus pushes himself up from the ground and lifts his eyes towards heaven and says…
“Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
His hands are no longer clutching the grass in despair. They are no longer clasping each other in prayer.
They are raised toward heaven.
Reaching not for bread or for fish or for any other good gift. Not even for answers. But reaching for the cup from his Father’s hand.
And though it is a terrible cup, brimming with the wrath of God for the ferment of sin from centuries past and centuries yet to come….and though it is a cup he fears…he takes it.
Because more than he fears the cup, he loves the hand of HIS FATHER from which it comes.
Lord, I know that sometime, somewhere, some type of Gethsemane awaits me. Just as it did you. I know that someday a dark night will fall upon my soul. Just as it did yours. But I shudder to think about it, about the darkness and being alone and in despair.
Prepare me for that dark night. Prepare me now by helping me realize that although Gethsemane is the most terrifying of places, it is also the most tranquil.
The terror comes in realizing I am not in control of my life or the lives of those I love. The tranquility comes in realizing that you are.
Help me when it is dark and I am alone and afraid. Help me to put my trembling hand in yours and trust you with my life. And with the lives of those I love.