Your Will Be Done
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.”
43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
The fact that Jesus’ sweat was like drops of blood is an indication to us how severe His suffering was. Besides being Divine, Jesus was also fully human. He did not use His Divinity to evade any of the pain He knew He was about to suffer. He felt the suffering in His physical body and knowing what was coming. He suffered extreme anguish in His mind and in His emotions, so much so, that His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. The sweating of blood gives us a hint of what His decision in the garden cost.
Sweating of blood is a very rare medical condition, the clinical term is “hematohidrosis”. Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form. Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes “the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture, and the blood goes into the sweat glands.” As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface – coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.
Jesus, in His divinity, knew that His disciple, Judas Iscariot, would betray Him and He would be arrested, go through the trial, suffer scourging and crucifixion. He knew that he would be physically facing one of the most horrible forms of capital punishment there had ever been. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.”
Earlier, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus taught them that when they prayed, they should pray “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….” (Matthew 6:9-10). Actually, what does it mean to pray “Your will be done”?
In order to pray “Your will be done” and to sincerely mean it, we need to be willing to at least do the following:
1) Surrender our will in the matter that we are praying for. As long as we still want our way, it will be difficult for us to hear and receive from God when He reveals His will to us. When we are set on our own will, we would then have ears but do not hear and have eyes that do not see.
2) We also need to have faith and trust in God that His will is always better than our will no matter how we think or feel. We often think we know what is best for ourselves and our situation but we must exercise faith in God who is All-knowing and Almighty.
3) We also need to have a servant’s heart and submit to God as our Master. As much as God relates to us as our “Abba, Father” and He is willing to call us His friend, we must not forget the truth that He is also our Master and we are His servants. As servants of a loving Father, we must learn to submit to Him so that He could work all things out in our favour.
4) We need to love God above ourselves and anyone and anything else. As long as we have an idol, be it a person, a thing or a preoccupation, it will be difficult for us to pray “Your will be done”. When we have an idol in our life, we will take into consideration the will of our idol or idols and as such, we are then unable to be single-minded and unable to sincerely pray to God, “Your will be done”.
The most important impact of Jesus’ prayer that night is the willingness of our Saviour to die on the Cross in our place o pay the penalty for our sins. God “made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is for us to behold and for us to tell it to the world.
Let us pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the forgiveness and freedom that Jesus has purchased for me on the Cross. I thank You that even at the point of extreme anguish, the heart of Jesus is to follow and carry out the will of the Father. It is my prayer too, O Lord, that Your will be done in my life. I lay all my dreams and desires at Your feet and I commit to take up and fulfill only what is according to Your will. I love You and worship You will all that I have, O God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”