What are the practical implications for taking time to remember Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)?
“Every life has its Gethsemane, and every Gethsemane has its angel.” What an encouragement for us when we wrestle and pray during times of testing, trial, and temptation!
Remembering Gethsemane shows us the sinfulness of our sin. Let us adore our Savior for drinking the cup for us. Propitiation — He drank the cup. I will never have to. God is not angry with me.
Remembering Gethsemane shows us how to persevere in times of testing, trial, and temptation. PRAY… The Model of Jesus — We can faithfully persevere in times of testing through persistent, earnest, submissive prayer. An appeal to foster vigilance and prayerfulness in the face of testing. We are reminded of the tremendous power of prayer.
Note that prayer did not deliver our Lord from suffering, but it did deliver Him through it. So often we pray that God might get us out of adversity, rather than through it. Prayer is one of God’s primary provisions for our endurance and perseverance. His words to His disciples apply to us as well: “Pray that you will not enter into temptation.”
“Not my will, but yours be done” is not a capitulation or giving in to unbelief, but surrendering your wishes and desires to the one who knows what is best.
Andrew Murray offers a beautiful summary to this prayer of relinquishment: “He brought me here. It’s by His will I am in this very place. In that fact I will rest. He will keep me here in His love and give me grace to live as His child. Then He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends for me to learn in His good time. He will bring me out again how and when He knows. So let me say: I am: (a) here by God’s appointment; (b) in His keeping; (c)under his training; (d) for His time.”
Remembering Gethsemane calls us to worship our God who Himself is willing to suffer to end all suffering. Our God is not remote from us in our suffering. He is committed to ending our suffering by getting involved in it himself. When we see how the very best man who ever lived had to suffer, it undermines our own self-pity and bitterness.
Remembering Gethsemane reminds us that our failures are neither final nor fatal. The disciples’ failure in availing themselves of the means of God’s strengthening grace is attributed to intense grief and sorrow. They will be given future opportunities to “pray always and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Remembering Gethsemane reminds us that there is only one way to God… Jesus Christ our Lord. The prayer of our Lord in the garden underscores the truth of the New Testament that there is but one way, and that way is the shed blood of the sinless Savior for sinners. How often we hear men speak of the cross of Calvary as a way, one option among many as to how men can attain eternal life. Let me say that if there were any other way, Jesus would not have gone to the cross, and the Father would not have sent Him.