“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Fighting temptation and fear is a very lonely place. This was Jesus last and greatest spiritual battle. He was so close to the end of His earthly journey now– so close to the real reason for His coming. And here was the final battle of wills. Adam and Eve had allowed their will to prevail over God’s. Jesus was struggling to bring His will into submission to the Father – just as He had taught us to pray.
The weapons of darkness were intense. As He strove in prayer with Himself, “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Who can begin to imagine what was taking place within Him. Finally He overcame His human agony and He could walk out to face His tormentors with a new quietness of spirit. We are eternally blessed as a result.
We may all know similar moments even if not to the same degree. Jesus would have realised it when he challenged us
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Some are simple choices. Others are difficult decisions when we battle with our own desires and weaknesses. The inner voices might tell us that it makes no difference but somewhere inside us we know that it does. We, like Adam and Eve, are being tempted to give in to our own desires – whereas Jesus makes it clear that our walk with Him will lead us to deny ourselves in many of the world’s areas. Our great battle is to convince ourselves that His is the Way that we want to travel, His approval the only endorsement worth having and His pleasure in us the real reward.
At such times much will depend upon the foundational values that we have already set in place. When our resolve falters and the darkness closes in we can reach out to Him and keep repeating within that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ – and hold on to His love, His strength and His victory on our behalf.
I want to live for You Lord – not for me.
Help me Lord Jesus to stand up to temptation in Your power and for Your sake, Amen.