Scripture Reading: Luke 22:39-46
Is there a greater prayer we can pray on this Maundy Thursday than the words of Jesus in the garden, “not my will but yours”? The words form one of the greatest prayers in the New Testament.
At some time, in each of our experiences, we need to pray this prayer — a prayer of submission, consecration and commitment. Total submission to God is a difficult place to come to in our lives, but until we do, we cannot know the full blessing of God. Luke suggests, in this passage, that Jesus struggled to come to this place. A battle raged in the garden against the forces of evil, but the moment Jesus said “not my will” the battle was won and the cross was possible.
The garden experience happened just after Jesus shared many things with the disciples in the Upper Room. At the end of the Passover meal, He took bread and wine and spoke of His body being broken and his blood being shed. This established a continuing memorial in the Lord’s Supper.
So what was the garden scene all about? It was a moment of intense humanness. We often forget that Jesus was Son of Man as well as Son of God. In Hebrews 2:14, we read that “he shared in our humanity,” and here we see that humanity in its intensity. In these moments of deep agony, to the point of sweating drops of blood as He considered what was on the horizon, Jesus could have walked away from the cross. Instead, He submitted to the will of God and went to Calvary for you and for me. He prayed for another way, but knew there was only one way. And so He prayed, “not my will but yours be done.”
So today, we need to pray this prayer as we submit ourselves to the will of God for our lives. Yes, there will be a battle, and the forces of hell will come out against us; but remember, your enemy is defeated. You can win the battle through the One who won it in the garden.
“Not my will, but yours…”