Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

A glimpse of agony (Luke 22 v 39-46)

It’s very rare in the Gospels to be told how Jesus felt. But with only hours to go before He hung on the cross, the enormity and horror of what was about to happen began to become clear to Him, and we are given a humbling glimpse of what
Jesus thought of the cross.

Jesus in the garden
Read Luke 22:39

• What did Jesus want His Father to do (v 42)?

In the ancient world, poisoning a king’s cup was a popular means of assassination, so “the cup” had come to signify suffering and death. The Old Testament picked up on this image—have a look at Isaiah 51:17 and Jeremiah 25:15 to see what “the cup” contained.

• What impression does v 44 give you of how Jesus felt about facing drinking this “cup” of unimaginable spiritual agony?
• Jesus begs His Father to take “the cup” away. But how does He finish His prayer (v 42)?
• Why is this astonishing, given that He knows what is coming to Him?

Take a few moments to consider what Jesus willingly went through, and thank Him with all your heart for His determination to go to His death.

The disciples in the garden
Read Luke 22:45

• While Jesus was going through this emotional agony, what were His closest friends doing?
• What should they have been doing (v 40)?
• What kinds of temptation were they going to face in the next 12 hours?
• What do you make of the tone of Jesus’ response to their failure (v 46)?

This only makes Jesus’ willingness to follow His Father’s will and take the cup even more amazing.
These are the kind of people Jesus will die for: sleeping lions not spiritual lions. These men fail Jesus just at the moment He needs them; but He will not fail them in meeting their greatest need. God’s Son will undergo the agony of the cross for people such as them and us—imperfect, weak, failing followers.

Take a few moments to confess the ways in which you have failed to put Jesus first recently, and thank Him with all your heart once more for going to His death for someone like you.

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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