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Rev. Peter Greiner

Sun 16 Jul

Our Lord Jesus chooses to pray in a location where Judas will find him and so permits Judas to betray him, and so our Lord dies on the cross. For us too, sometimes prayer is about learning to accept God's will rather than God changing things to please us. Our Lord takes the three disciples who are the closest to Him to be near Him while He prays, but they cannot stop themselves falling asleep. This point shows us that Jesus is truly a human like us with the need of love and support of His friends. We need this too, and we ought to give it one another. Our Lord struggles in prayer to accept the suffering of the cross under the judgement of God. First, He understands that He is going to die under the judgement of God for our sin. The Lord struggles in prayer till God gives Him the strength - in His human nature - to be willing and able to endure the cross. The faithfulness of Christ shines in contrast to the weakness and sin of His man, and in contrast to our weakness and sin too. It is in this account of our Lord's struggle in Gethsemane that we see most clearly the personal cost of our salvation to the Redeemer. This is because here we see something of His feelings, His horror of what was coming: the cruelty of men, the attack of the devil, and the judgement of God in our place. There is the warning to us that while our spirits may be willing, our flesh is weak in relation to temptation and sin. We do not have to struggle alone in our own strength. God will help us by His angels and by His Spirit, more than we know. But we must ask. Watch and pray least you fall into temptation.