Having finished instituting the Lord’s supper and some final words for His apostles, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray. Luke says that an angel came to strengthen Him. This likely refers to helping Him with physical strength, as they did following His 40 days in the wilderness. Twice in this section, He told disciples to pray that they “enter not into temptation.” The temptation He was referring to was likely just as He had told them at Passover – Satan desired to have them all.
Luke’s description of Jesus’ agony as He prayed is more detailed than the other gospels. He asks that “this cup” – the ordeal He must bear be taken away, if it is God’s will. He sweats, and it is believed by many that Luke’s description of the blood is literal. There is a condition we know of called Hematidrosis that has been known to cause blood-mingled sweat, etc. – especially in cases of severe stress.
What stress and agony it must have been. It is one thing for someone who is condemned to death to be awaiting the hour of their own execution. It is quite another to be able to see in your mind’s eye just how painful, cruel and inhumane, and how horrible an ordeal it will actually be. To be able to correctly envision the degree of suffering you would have to endure is a fearful situation this writer cannot adequately imagine. Now combine that with the fact that Jesus has always been with God. It is only possible for Him to now taste of death because of a willingness to fulfill this plan for our salvation. To go from having always been with the “Ancient of Days,” to suffering a cruel and painful mortal death must have been truly agonizing indeed.
He did not have to do this. He could have called those angels that we sing about to deliver Him from this. But He bore this burden for us because He wanted us to be saved. Think of that next time you take the Lord’s supper.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.