The Most Important Night in History


He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. - Luke 22:41-43

Night had fallen over Jerusalem.

The most important night in history. I wonder if even the air held a different feeling in it. If the atmosphere knew the significance of such a night.

And for Jesus, it was His last night before His crucifixion, when He would be brutally killed by death on a cross. The last night before all of the pain and agony that He was about to endure.

He knew, of course. And in some of His final moments before His betrayal by Judas, Jesus spent time in a garden in the presence of His Father. In His most painful of times, He drew close to His Father.

The Bible tells us He was in so much agony that He was even sweating drops of blood. He knew what was to come.

So He prayed. He prayed that He might be spared from the suffering. But then His next words were: Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.

This was the only way. Jesus knew that. And so He stayed. He didn’t run. He didn’t fight. He stayed. And eventually, when the betrayer came with guards, He let them take Him to His death.

Because He loved us. And He knew.

He knew that this was only the beginning of the plan. That death was not the end. That He had to go through such intense suffering to achieve the final victory.

I want Your will to be done, not mine.

How many times have I had the courage to pray such a bold prayer? A prayer that could surely mean suffering? A prayer that could mean betrayal? A prayer that could mean losing everything?

God has a plan for every life He has created. He has a plan for you. And He has a plan for me.

But the truth? Sometimes His plans don’t seem all that good. Sometimes the night seems really dark. And we don’t understand. Possibly we are like the disciples who were filled with so much grief they fell into an exhausted sleep (Luke 22:45). We don’t understand how life can come from death. We don’t understand how victory can come from suffering.

And we wonder if all the suffering is worth it in the end.

Friend, it is.

It is worth it. His plans are worth it. He is worth it. For every dark Friday night, Sunday is still coming.

Maybe the best part of all? We are never left alone. When Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done in even the darkest hour of His human life, His Father sent an angel to encourage and strengthen Him.

Because Jesus did go to that cross and He did win our ultimate victory, He is now the One who strengthens and encourages us. All the pain you are feeling? The betrayal you are facing? The suffering coming ahead? He knows. He understands.

And He will be there to strengthen you through all of it.

Reflection

1. Has there been a time in your life recently where you struggled to pray for God’s will to be done instead of yours?

2. When have you felt God comfort and encourage you, even in the seemingly darkest times of your life?

3. How can you be an encouragement to someone who may be going through similar suffering?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, thank You that You went to that cross for me. Thank You that You endured that pain and suffering for me. Thank You for loving me that much. Help me to trust You even when I don’t see the whole picture. Help me to obey Your will, even when it’s hard. I want Your will to be done, God, not mine. Come what may. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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