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.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 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.”
In the garden of Gethsemane, we see Jesus troubled and overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. We see him falling with his face to the ground and praying three times. We also see the Father say no to Jesus’ request that the cup be taken away from him.We want to follow Jesus into the abundant life of resurrection, but we are less than enthusiastic about following him into the garden of Gethsemane. Lament for a Son , by Nicholas Wolterstorff, is a record of the author’s reflections and struggles following the death of his twenty-five-year-old son, Eric, in an Austrian mountain-climbing accident. Wolterstorff doesn’t have any explanations or answers for why God would have allowed such a tragedy. Who does? At one point, however, he comes upon a profound insight: Through the prism of my tears I have seen a suffering God. It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one can see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps this meant that no one could see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is splendor.
Question to Consider
What does it mean for you to pray, “Yet not as I will, but as you will”?
Lord, everything in me resists following you into the garden of Gethsemane to fall on my face to the ground before you. Grant me the courage to follow you all the way to the cross, whatever that might mean for my life. And then, by your grace, lead me to resurrection life and power. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
Emotionally healthy spirituality