“(Jesus) fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. ‘Abba, Father’ he said ‘every thing is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will”.
Mk 14:35, 36 NIV
The garden of Gethsemane is still there in Jerusalem and pilgrims usually visit it. Few places bring to mind the ancient events more than sitting on the grass and praying right where Jesus made his final submission to God the Father’s will.
We remind ourselves again today that the story in Mark’s Gospel is so real because Peter was there and he remembered it all so vividly. And he told the story to Mark.
Why do we find it so hard to submit to God’s will? It is because we want to retain control of our lives for ourselves. And to do that we often assume we are submitting to God when in reality we are wanting God to support us in the things we want for ourselves. Usually those things will bring us fame, popularity, wealth or significance. We find it difficult when we discover that God isn’t always – or ever – willing to be conscripted by us, but in fact wants to enlist us for the fulfillment of his plan.
Think long and hard about Jesus in Gethsemane. Recall that he who knew his Father’s will should need to wrestle in prayer in order to accept and submit to it. And then he was ready to pay the supreme price and sacrifice his life for his disciples (who failed him!). The outcome of Gethsemane had global significance. It led immediately to the cross.
Be careful when you submit to God’s will!
Lord, not my will, but yours, be done.