Luke 22:31-46


“‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’ Then Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: “And he was numbered with the transgressors”; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.’ The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are two swords.’ ‘That’s enough!’ he replied. Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’” Luke 22:31-46

Judas left to betray Jesus, but in reality, there was going to be even more betrayal. The disciples would scatter and Peter was going to deny Christ.

Peter declared that he was ready. He would go to prison or even face death for Jesus.

But Jesus knew. He prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail. He knew the hour of testing was coming and that Peter would succumb, but He prayed that Peter would turn again and be able to strengthen his brothers.

Jesus prayed for Peter. Perhaps at this very moment Jesus is praying for us that our faith might not fail, and when the hour of testing comes we will return and strengthen our brothers.

It was time to go. The meal ended and Jesus was so sorrowful because He knew. They went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives. A gethsemane is an olive press. It is how the olives were crushed for the oil. Here Jesus prayed, being crushed under the weight of what was to come. Drops of blood mixed with sweat fell to the ground. Back in Genesis in that first garden, sin had brought the curse. Adam would work the ground by the sweat of his brow. But here, in this garden, Jesus was buying it back by the sweat and blood of His brow.

If the disciples had been awake, they might have also noticed that those drops of blood were reminiscent of the meal they had just left. During Passover when the cups of wine are used, the cup of wrath is not usually drunk. Rather, as each of the ten plagues is mentioned, a few drops of wine are poured out for each of them. It looks like blood. The cup of wrath was coming and Jesus asked if it could be removed. Yet He prayed and submitted to the will of His Father. He would face the cross. He would face death. He would take the wrath of God for each of us.

And the disciples slept.

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