Monday, March 20, 2017


Jesus arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples. He would visit here often, so stopping on this occasion was not out of the ordinary for them. But this was no ordinary visit. It was the night before His crucifixion and Jesus was deeply troubled.

Upon arriving He took three of his disciples, those closest to Him, and went farther in. The Gospel account informs us that Jesus was deeply sorrowful and troubled, and He told the disciples he felt like He was dying. Then he told them to stay awake with him. He went a little further and fell on his face and prayed. 

Jesus knew His crucifixion was near and his prayer reflected his struggle about what would happen the next day. He was torn by the knowledge of His Father’s will and all that it involved. 

Three of the Gospels recording the events in the Garden of Gethsemane provide further insights into His prayer. Two of the Gospels tell us He prayed three separate times. One Gospel tells us an Angel visited with and strengthened Him. One of the Gospels tells us he was in such agony that He sweat drops of blood.

Books are filled with explanations of what took place that night, and we know that if Gethsemane had not taken place, there would not have been His crucifixion.

Jesus’ struggle in the Garden was whether or not to accept His Father’s will for His life. His own words describe the depth of His struggle. “Yet not my will, but as you will.” “…your will be done.” (Matthew 26:39, 42 CSV)

These glimpses into His struggle bring comfort to us. For sure, there may never have been as much agony and we don’t usually sweat drops of blood. We do, however, struggle with yielding our will to that of our Heavenly Father.

This happens every day. Every single day people make significant decisions to yield their will to others and to do incredibly sacrificial things.

Think for a moment on the split second decisions Law Enforcement Officers  must make, putting their lives on the line to protect and defend others. The same is true of members of the military who leave family and friends behind. They enter the battlefield and often make the ultimate sacrifice, dying in service to their country. And then there are the just as real and just as agonizing struggles that the rest of us make every day, torn by a crisis of faith to yield our wills to that of our Heavenly Father. It is during moments like these that we can need to reflect upon the time Jesus spent in the Garden in agonizing prayer with His Father.

There are moments in life when God brings you to a point of crisis, a moment in time so difficult and so painful that you are almost paralyzed. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know which way to turn. You have two choices before you. One leads to the death of something you love. The other leads to death to self. Choosing the latter, however, may ultimately lead to resurrection and something far better.


Questions for Reflection:

1. Have you ever faced a moment of crisis similar to what is described above? If so, what that was like for you?
2. What helped you through that moment? What resources did you call upon to help with your decision?
3. Have you ever witnessed someone who faced a similar moment of crisis and chose the hard decision even though it may have cost them everything? 
4. Did that decision lead to some type of resurrection and something far better? If so, please describe it.
5. Feel free to comment on anything else about these opening thoughts that you think may be helpful.


  1. First, I'd like to thank you for sharing your passion for Christ. As I've shared throughout the past two years, I've been through more than I ever thought I'd be able to handle. I faced an incredible health challenge that could have taken me from my daughters. I lost a marriage. I faced financial distress and most recently lost my Mother to an incredibly long battle with cancer. I feel like a work in progress still but I'm still standing, Thanks be to God! Sometimes I feel God had to strip me down to the bare minimum in order to build me back up. I pray this much is true.

  2. Hi Joanne. Thanks for your kind words. I am just sharing some things God has been teaching me and hoping they may inspire and encourage others. Like you, I too am a work in progress. To be honest, we all are. I am sorry you have had to endure so many difficult challenges. It does seem at times as though God does bring us to the end of ourselves so that we come to the place where we realize that all we have is Him. That, by the way, seems to be the theme of much of the Bible. I recall Job, as well as others, learning that lesson. I pray you may continue to find your encouragement in Him. Feel free to reach out if there are other ways we may be of help. I also pray that you will continue to follow the posts and share what God may be teaching you. My intent is that this blog may become a kind of community learning group where we share with one another lessons and insights from the Garden of Gethsemane. Thanks again friend.