In the Garden

by Beth Fore

“My soul is overwhelmed
with sorrow to the point
of death,” he said to them.
“Stay here and keep watch.”
Going a little farther, he fell
to the ground and prayed
that if possible the hour
might pass from him.
“Abba, Father,” he said,
“everything is possible
for you.  Take this cup from
me.  Yet not what I will,
but what you will.”

(Mark 14:34-36 NIV)

In the Garden

Jesus went with Peter, James, and John
to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He was deeply distressed and troubled
and fell to the ground on bended knee.

His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow
at the thought of His impending death.
He knew that He was destined to die
and would soon breathe His last breath.

He prayed three times in deep agony,
“Abba, Father, take this cup from Me.
Yet not what I will, but what You will”,
and with sweats of blood made His plea.

He returned to His disciples after each prayer,
and each time Jesus found them asleep.
He asked them to keep watch for one hour
as tears of sorrow and pain He did weep.

Jesus told them to, “Watch and pray
so that you will not fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,”
yet they slept when each prayer was done.

Jesus submitted to His Father’s will
as He prayed agonizingly at Gethsemane.
Then Jesus chose to be crucified at Calvary
offering Himself as a sacrifice for me.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus may have shown more emotion and agony in the Garden of Gethsemane than He showed any other place while he lived on earth.

“’My soul is overwhelmed with sorry to the point of death,’ he said to them.” (Mark 14:34 NIV)

Jesus knew that his time had come.  He would soon be arrested, tried, and crucified.  He knew that he would have to take on the sins of the whole world for all time, and this must

have been a horrible thought for the Son of God, a perfect and righteous man who was without sin!  Christ also knew that he would be separated from God, his father, for the first time.  This would have to happen because Almighty God despises sin and Jesus would become sin for the whole world.

We do not know the exact words of Christ’s prayers in the garden, but we do know that Christ asked his father, Abba Father, to take this cup from him.  In other words, Christ asked God to find another way so that he wouldn’t have to become sin, wouldn’t have to be separated from God, and wouldn’t have to die a humiliating painful death by being crucified.  Perhaps this time in the garden demonstrates the humanity of Jesus more than any other time recorded in the Bible.  We can all identify with his sorrow and agony as he prayed about the coming events.

*Even though Jesus did not want to be crucified on the cross, he yielded to God, the Father’s will, when he said, “…yet not what I will, but what you will.”

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  (Mark 34:36 NIV)

The ultimate test for Jesus, and for all human beings, is whether or not we will follow God’s will for our lives, regardless of what that requires.  Jesus made a decision to do just that in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He knew he was the only perfect sacrifice who could be offered to God to reconcile mankind to God.  He loved God and mankind, and he made the decision to do what he had to do to forgive mankind’s sins, make him pure and righteous in God’s sight, and reconcile man to God.  Likewise, God desires that we follow Him and do his will, whatever he asks of us.


  1. Some people might say that this passage shows a weakness in Jesus.  What are your thoughts?
  2. Why do you think Jesus prayed this prayer three times?
  3. Try to imagine what it would feel like to know that you were going to have all of the sins of all people, for all times, placed upon you.  We know how heavy and difficult it is to carry our own sins . . . let alone ALL SINS of ALL MANKIND!
  4. Do you think that God could have taken this cup from Christ?  Why do you think he did not take it away?
  5. Have you told God you would follow his will, whatever it may be?  Can you?  If not, why not?

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