And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly;
You will recognize this as Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. We reflect this weekend on the death and resurrection of Jesus. In this we consider the heart motivation that led him to and through the cross to the culmination of being seated at the right hand of the Father in total victory and place of highest honor. Crowned with a name above every name, He is exalted far above all and everything.
It is the obedience of Jesus that marks my soul. Living with such intensity and clarity of purpose, I’m sure, provided the focus the He lived with. Knowing that the body given to Him was prepared to become the sacrifice needed to redeem mankind did not make His path any easier for him than it does for us.
Like Jesus each of us have been given a body to achieve His purpose. Like Jesus, when we hit the hard spots we are to find our strength in the place of prayer.
It’s interesting to note, Jesus prays, if possible, for this place of deliverance. I don’t know that I always approach my circumstances thinking there is something about them that God wants me to endure for a greater purpose. I assume deliverance is mine to have and while I am confident it is (too much to cover here about him being a deliverer and very present Help in time of need, lets agree) I know there are times that my deliverance has not been easy or swift.
What was Jesus’ deliverance in the cross? The resurrection from the dead. The seat at the right hand of the Father. The greater glory given. A name above all others.
He’s at prayer, desiring another way yet submitted to the will of the Father. Lukes gospel tells us angels were sent from heaven to strengthen him. After the angels were sent the gospel says he is still in an agony.
ἀγωνία agōnía; gen. agōnías, fem. noun from agṓn (73), contest, but more abstract and eclectic giving prominence to the pain and labor of the conflict. Combat, from which the Eng. “agony” is derived. It is used to refer to the trembling excitement and anxiety produced by fear or tension before a wrestling match or a fight. In the NT, it is used denoting not the fear which draws back and flees, but the fear which trembles in the face of the issue yet continues on to the end (Luke 22:44 [cf. Matt. 26:37, 38; John 12:27]). Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.).
The writer of Hebrews reminds us not to throw away our confidence for it holds a great reward. Jesus said he who endures to the end shall be saved. Jesus comes to the place of “joy set before Him, enduring”. Hebrews 12:2
I’m learning the only successful way to endure is through prayer. Where there is agony of soul, heart, the wrestle to come to the place submission and obedience assures me I too shall be saved; resurrected from that place of death to self in order to live with His glory being manifested to and through the difficulties.
It is with joy, we celebrate Him, THE resurrection and THE life.