“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestl
y: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44
The life of Jesus is fascinating. Fully man and yet fully God. Not part man and part God, but 100 percent of each. How? I don’t know.
In the humanity of Jesus, we see many things in Scripture. Tears, hunger, thirst, pain, fear, exhaustion, and eventually death. There is nothing that we suffer on this earth that Jesus did not suffer. There was no temptation on earth that we experience that Jesus did not experience. Everything that Jesus experienced in the flesh, He conquered in the same way that we can conquer our temptations and stress. Jesus did not conquer adversity because He was God. Jesus conquered adversity because He was consistently connected to God the Father and to Scripture. Jesus perfectly demonstrated John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Jesus wove His life into the Word and into God the Father. There was no room for anything in His life. His constant connection was the lifeline for conquering temptation and trials in His time on earth.
This is never more demonstrated than Jesus’ time just prior to going to the cross. In Luke chapter 22 Jesus comes from the Last Supper, the celebration of the Passover with His disciples. Jesus called out His betrayer, Judas, and revealed to Peter that Peter is a target of Satan, but Jesus has protected Peter from Satan’s attack and prayed that his faith would not fail. Jesus tells Peter of Peter’s pending betrayal and reminds the twelve of His provision for them as they went out to tell others about Jesus with no money, no clothes, and no shoes. Jesus is preparing His disciples for things to come. Hard things! We must be prepared for hard things.
Finally, in Luke 22:41-44, Jesus takes the disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray. It appears this had been His routine during the week (Luke 21:37). For the disciples, Jesus tells them to pray so that they will not fall into temptation. That they would not succumb to evil and temptation that would come as the torturous cross was only hours away. For Jesus, He was praying for strength from God the Father. The momentum is building. Time is racing toward the greatest trial Jesus will face. The agony is building inside of Him. He feels the immense pressure.
As Jesus kneels to pray, He pleads, “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Jesus’s humanity is on full display for us. He senses the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the depression, and the agony of His mission. He wants to leave. He wants God the Father to change course. Every emotion that you and I can imagine is flooding Jesus’ mind. Luke tells us that an angel comes in and comforts Him. What a reminder that God will provide a way of escape in our temptation. God will not give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
As God the Father eases the tension with His angel, Jesus moves back to prayer. The agony is tremendous as He sweats drops of blood. This is indicative of a condition known as Hematohidrosis. A condition that typically develops during extreme mental anguish. There have been reports of soldiers heading into battle and sweating drops of blood due to the overwhelming and unbearable stress. Jesus’ mental and emotional state is screaming in His mind. He is now in go mode. He will either obey God the Father or run. Jesus fights through with one weapon—prayer.
Jesus must stay completely focused on His heavenly Father. That is His only avenue to success.
We are no different. We have the same tools and access to God the Father as did Jesus. Jesus did not win this battle over His emotions because He was God or maintained some super human strength. He won this battle on His knees.
I doubt that any of us here today are in the position that Jesus was in. I’m not saying that we are not facing some serious issues in our lives that cause our emotions to run wild. That is certainly true for everyone. But there is an answer. That answer today is keeping our focus on God at all times. What’s even better is that as Christians we have an advocate to God the Father called Jesus Christ, whom the Bible says sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). We also have the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). There is simply no excuse for Christians to be ruled by emotions. When emotions rule our lives, we make terrible decisions that many times can lead to a lifetime of regret. Resolve today to follow the Jesus’s example.