On His last week, Jesus walked through Jerusalem on the way to the cross as He had walked through life. He did it through prayer. Jesus had cultivated a life of union in prayer. From a young boy, after His bar mitzvah when he remained in Jerusalem while His parents traveled home thinking He was with them, till his last night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus fellowshipped with His Father in prayer, submission and union.
Jesus would rise early and stay up late to be with His Father. His Father was always with Him, as He is with us in Jesus.
But, in order to live inside this vital union, Jesus would separate Himself daily to be alone with His Father. Here, He would hear His voice, see His face, and recognize what The Father was doing. In prayer, Jesus would surrender to His Father and to the Truth that was being revealed. We can easily forget that Jesus had emptied Himself to become a man, and lived by faith in vital union with the Father as a man. Jesus was dependent on His Father for everything, and to the Holy Spirit to do anything.
Jesus lived in submission to His Father’s will and was heard in His cries and tears. Jesus was not a robot on a mission, but a son in submission. He brought Himself under His Father’s voice every day. He submitted to truth and His will, learning obedience (attentive hearing) through the things He went through. The disciples didn’t. They walked with Jesus, but didn’t pray like Jesus. They lived from their intentions to serve, the strength of their wills, and their flesh. They were men living as men. Jesus was man living as the Son of God. Not by power or might but by the Spirit.
In Gethsemane, the disciples ran out of power and might. They “slept from sorrow”, as oppressive darkness encircled them. Jesus “in agony prayed more earnestly.” His prayer – surrender. “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Jesus was passing through a crucible that only a surrendered soul could pass through. His soul was becoming an offering for sin—bruised, put to grief, laboring in surrender, and finally poured out to death. It doesn’t sound pretty. It wasn’t. Jesus was in the final testing of surrender.
Jesus rose from prayer. Submitted to the Fathers will, inside His word. The mob came. Peter’s strength rose, a sword was swung, an ear was lost—no, now it’s healed. Then disciples in disbelief heard Jesus speak of the Father’s resource. If He were just to pray and ask, He could have “more than twelve legions of angels”. But, Jesus was not saving Himself, He was saving humanity.
“How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus? Matthew 26:54. These were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples.
The disciples couldn’t process these words, nor surrender to this truth, and forsake Jesus and flee. But Jesus held His confession before Pontus Pilate, forgave all at the cross, endured the cross, and then rose from the dead with our salvation and justification. Jesus did it all! By Himself, He purged our sin and today is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high!
And guess what?
Jesus is still praying. He is ever living to make intercession for us, so we can experience His salvation to the uttermost. Now it’s time for us to press toward the upward call of God, in Christ Jesus—by bending our knees.