The Journey to the Cross
by
Bryan Craig
 


Day Three
 
Scripture: 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.”
 
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
 
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
 
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
 
Thought:  This scene is so sad and so convicting.  Our Lord Jesus was about to be betrayed by one of His closest followers, suffer a brutal beating and mockery, hear the crowds who praised Him as He approached Jerusalem begin to yell, “Crucify him!” and then, be executed like a common criminal.  He felt the gravity of this situation along with the literal weight of the world on His shoulders.
He was so tormented that in His flesh, He could hardly bare it.  He was tempted, as we would be, to run away.  He not only prays, but He asks His three closest companions to sit with Him and pray with Him.  They were not there for Him.
What a model of obedience and perseverance Jesus gives us in the midst of a trial!
Application:  When Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow Him, He is telling us we will face battles between flesh and spirit.   When God’s Will for us seems to take us into a “crucible,” we will be tempted to run.  For Jesus, the salvation of mankind was at stake, but similarly, God has a plan for our lives and others are depending on our obedience.
Jesus told Peter, James and John to “watch” and to “pray”.  As we abide in God’s Word, He will open our eyes to the dangers around us.  As we pray, He makes us strong in the spirit to overcome our flesh’s weakness.
Are we “watching” and “praying”?  Let’s journal about this, asking the Lord to show us where we might be missing it.
Is the Lord asking us to do something which is causing us sorrow and a troubled heart?  Are we asking Him to take this cup away?  Write about it in our journals.
Response:  If we are clear that God is not taking away our cup of responsibility, let’s commit to following His Will, not ours, to complete the task.  Write a prayer a of commitment in our journals.