“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Jesus could have gotten out of his suffering. Twelve legions of angel warriors would have come at his word. Angel armies with swords of fire could have dramatically and decisively changed the trajectory of the next three days.
But getting out of his suffering was far down the list of Jesus' greatest desires. Jesus wanted to obey his Father. And, in his obedience, Jesus was to be the agent of the ancient prophecies' fulfillment.
Salvation history narrowed into the time and space of this moment in the Garden of Gethsemane. And, it was to get narrower still until two wooden beams and three iron spikes accomplished what sin and evil required. This was as it must be.
Past: When have you given yourself permission to be with Jesus in the Garden? Remember, weep with Him, and give thanks.
Present: Consider again that scene in Gethsemane. In prayer, ask Jesus to help you understand the greater story of salvation history.
Future: We live in the "time and space between.” The cross of Jesus satisfied the need for atonement for the sins of the world but until Christ returns, we await the final fulfillment of the Scriptures. Remember what Christ said "yes" to as you wait for his final and victorious coming.
Abba Father, we grieve with Jesus' anguished soul in the Garden. We don't understand and yet we give you thanks for your mercy extended to us through Christ our Lord.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.