He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. When He reached the place, He told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me–nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:39-42 HCSB
The evening had come, the supper partaken.
The sounds from the city wide festivities created a background noise in the room, which seemed to echo the history rehearsed at the table. This night, would embed itself into the minds of the disciples as nothing else, until the cross. From the water trickling over their feet as Jesus knelt before them, to the dipping of the bread, —as each word spoken by Him would hang in the air- they would soon see Him on the cross.
But before the cross, came the garden. The place they must have gone time and time again for rest, relaxation. A familiar place that perhaps had peaceful memories, but tonight- their failure to be watchful, would haunt their hearts.
They are weary. And who could blame them? The sun beating down, walking for miles and miles, days on end, that is wearying enough. But now, the temperature is cooler and with appetites satiated, they seem carefree. The dangers Jesus had spoken of earlier–now a distant conversation as they joy in the songs and being with Him alone, rather than sharing His presence with thousands.
Their eyes adjusted to the moonlit night in such a way that they have no difficulty seeing where they are going. They find a comforting spot to rest as He instructs, “pray that you might not enter into temptation”.
That seems to be the struggle with many. I know I struggle with praying–not the words so much, as the purpose of getting away with Jesus. I let too many hindrances take rule in that area. My attention gets diverted by the activities of so many things going on at one time– and I succumb to the busy rather than the quiet He instructs…. “pray that you might not enter into temptation.”
And pages before we found Martha–she was busy about some good things–necessary things, but Mary…Mary had chosen the better. Jesus confirmed it. The better.
There are things that clamor daily for our attention. Yours and mine. And more often than not, I let the wrong thing rule.
The better thing is to come aside with Him in the garden, pray with Him. But here I sit, asleep. You too maybe?
I have watched and participated in many Passion Plays –and with each one, rehearsing the story over and over, reading it for myself from the thin pages of my Bible, I could see it unfold. Yet, we tell the PG rated version– because in reality, our minds and eyes couldn’t not handle the full truth of the passion of Jesus Christ.
I remember watching the movie, “The Passion of The Christ” in a theater, and left that night in such anguish. I could hear people all over the theater sobbing– and I did my best to hold in as much as I could–but my guts clinched and my tears ran like rivers, as I watched-what was more like the truth of what Jesus actually endured that night. We can’t fully know. We couldn’t handle fully knowing.
When we left the theater that night, neither one of us could speak for what seemed like hours. Conversation seemed trivial. It was as if what He had done for humanity had come home in our hearts. And we would never be the same.
Today, Saturday– I know He’s at the right hand of The Father, forever making intercession–but THAT Saturday, His disciples were mourning–they were remembering…
“Pray, that you might not enter into temptation”….
© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.
Photography credit: © Beverly M. Anderson. Mount of Olives 2013. Used by permission. All rights reserved.