READ Luke 22:39-44
The doctrine of the Incarnation encapsulates the glorious truth that Jesus is wholly God and wholly man. This is both a divine mystery and the Church’s salvation.
Throughout the life of Jesus we are often reminded of his divinity – He heals the blind, cures the ill, and raises Lazarus from the dead. But in this passage, we are reminded of His humanity. And in His most intimate moment of struggle, we are invited in to bear witness and learn from Him.
Immediately following the Supper, Jesus leads his friends out to the Mount of Olives. The text reminds us that this was His custom; we can imagine that Jesus and the disciples often came here to pray, and that this space had become, in some ways, sacred ground. And it is in this garden that Jesus retreats from His friends about “a stone’s throw.” And here, He grieves in prayer.
What do you think Jesus meant by “this cup”? Why do you think He uses this language?
Just moments ago Jesus took a cup of wine and passed it to His disciples, assuring them that it was His blood poured out for them. In His prayer that the cup of suffering might pass from Him, Jesus is unmistakably asking that the symbol of His coming suffering might not come into reality. Jesus agonizes in prayer, asking that the Father might spare Him from the tortuous death that lies ahead of Him.
What are the physical signs of Jesus’ grief?
Yet He concludes …
Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done. (22:42)
Whenever we experience suffering and loss in our own lies we would do well to remember this Jesus. When grief riddles our hearts, it is easy to approach the Jesus who heals lepers and angrily ask Him why He did not heal our loved one or our own body. But when we see Jesus grieving on the Mount of Olives we are reminded: in all of our suffering and grief, we are not alone. We worship a God who suffered on our behalf. And His suffering wasn’t trite, but gut-wrenching, agonizing, sweat-to-blood suffering.
When grief threatens to swallow us up, we can rest assured: our grief will never be so deep that we fall beneath the nail-pierced hands of our Jesus. He is with us in our suffering, and it is His presence in our grief that allows us to say with Him, “Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done.”
Today, consider our grieving God. Thank God that He knows us in our suffering and grief. Thank Him that He endured such suffering on our behalf, that He might reconcile us to Himself.