Scripture: Mark 14:32-42
It is hard to put ourselves in Jesus’ shoes in this moment. In this passage Jesus takes His disciples to the garden to pray and will later be arrested by the religious authorities. But in the moment in the Garden of Gethsemane, here in Mark 14:32-42, Jesus knows what is to come. His death is imminent. He knows He will go through suffering.
We know people ourselves who have gone through tremendous suffering. We may have experienced it ourselves. Facing the reality of an imminent death is something hard to imagine even when we are ill, suffering, or in poor health. Jesus Himself speaks of being downcast, of being deeply grieved to the point of death, but He recognises the need to come to the Father and pray. And in that prayer He places Himself under the will of God, saying, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
This act of submission sets a powerful example for us as believers. It reminds us of the importance of surrendering ourselves to God’s will, despite the cost before us. As we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we are called to submit ourselves to His will, trusting in His plan for our lives. This can be a difficult path, especially when we are facing suffering, hardship, and challenges because of it. Yet through these times we are able to grow in our faith and deepen our relationship with God.
Like a soldier faced with a difficult mission, one that they know will put their life on the line, they submit to their superior officers, trusting in their training and the mission’s purpose. In a similar way, Jesus knows the mission before Him and submits himself to God’s will in amongst the suffering He will face.
As the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Let us renew our minds and submit ourselves to God’s will, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
This is a devotional series I’ve written for my church for Easter Week 2023. It follows the Passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark. This is day 4 of 8.
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