I highly commend to you the Holy Week Devotional today at Desiring God’s blog, it’s a wonderful and deep Scripture-filled reflection on Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene.
Here’s an excerpt:
If Jesus had not been obedient unto death, he would have been swallowed up by death forever and there would be no resurrection, no salvation, and no future world filled with the glory of God’s grace and God’s children. This is what Jesus prayed for “to him who was able to save him from death” — that is, save him from a death that would not succeed its saving mission.
“He was heard for his godly fear.” God did save him from the threat that such a death posed to his obedience. Jesus did succeed. There is salvation for all who believe. There will be a new world full of the glory of God’s grace and God’s children.
And all of this is owing to the greatest prayer in the world. Every hope of the gospel succeeds because of Jesus’s reverent earnestness in prayer, and the answer of the Father. “Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly . . . and he was heard because of his reverence” (Luke 22:44; Hebrews 5:7).
Evidently, by the time Jesus was done praying in Gethsemane, the Father had not only made clear that there is no other way than the cross, but also that this way would succeed. The Lamb would have the reward of his suffering. He will “see his offspring; he will prolong his days; the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he will see and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:10–11).
Surely this is why Hebrews 12:2 could say, “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” Beneath the terrors of present agony was the taste of future joy. The angel had come, “strengthening him” — clarifying, confirming, connecting the coming joy.
But take the time if at all possible to go and read the full entry.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You prayed earnestly and were strengthened in Your obedience to the Father, even unto death. Lord, I’m challenged that I need to watch and pray, being willing to give up sleep and other comforts in order that I might learn obedience. Father, help me to delight in seeking Your will, to persevere in prayer until I can find joy in obedience. Thank You Lord Jesus that even now You are at the Father’s right hand interceding for me and all Your followers. Strengthen us to watch and pray that we may not fall into temptation, we pray in Your most holy name. Amen.