Had you sat beside Jesus in Gethsemane, and known what he would face, you might have questioned his resiliency. If the thought of crucifixion affected him so dramatically, would he cower before the Cross? Those closest to him that night reported, “He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears” (Hebrews 5:7).
However, once Jesus climbed to his feet and left the garden, he never looked back. He endured betrayal, denial, beatings, rejection, humiliation, and injustice. At the place of execution, Golgotha, he hung from a cross attached with nails through his hands and feet. Yet, his faith never wavered. Throughout nine hours of torture, Jesus loved his Father and those around him. Everyone around him–followers, friends, torturers and tormenters.
How could a man who sweat drops of blood in the garden show faith and compassion while bleeding rivers of blood?
The answer? Gethsemane.
You and I would pray in the face of a crisis—but would we leave our prayers with faith? I hope so. I’m not batting 1,000 on that one. I’m not even hitting 500. It seems I’m sometimes so obsessed with solving a problem, I don’t pray. In Gethsemane, Jesus wasn’t solving a problem, he was praying. Did his prayers solve the problem? Or, make it go away? No, they enabled him to face it with faith.
(Adapted from Awaken the Leader Within, by Bill Perkins)