Mark 14:32-42 – Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Gethsemane, meaning “oil press,” is an olive orchard on the slope of the Mount of Olives. It is here that Jesus comes to pray because he is under great pressure. There could be lots of emotions going on for Jesus. We see Jesus being brutally honest with the father and asking him to remove this cup or burden. He then moves from honesty to complete submission to the will of the Father. Fear, exhaustion, pressure could be just a few of the emotions Jesus was going through. They seem to resolve into confidence and strength as he rises to meet his betrayer.
Jesus brought all the disciples, except Judas who was in the city betraying Jesus, to the hillside to pray. He continued deeper into the garden with Peter, John and James. He left them to pray while he himself went further into the garden to pray. Three different times Jesus came back from praying on his own to find Peter, John and James sleeping when they should have been praying.
The “cup” is an Old Testament metaphor for the wrath of God (see Isa 51:17 & Jeremiah 25:15). God being a just God must punish sin, but because he is a merciful God he provided a way for our sin to be punished without destroying humanity. Jesus took our sins on himself and bore the penalty of our sin. Jesus became the propitiation for our sin and took the punishment for us! (Rom3:23-25)
Jesus is having a very emotional experience in the Garden. He knows that everything that is about to happen; his betrayal, the beatings, mockery, false allegations, the crown of thorns and ultimately the cross. Jesus is not only dealing with the emotional stress of his future crucifixion but the spiritual burden of taking the sins of the world on his shoulders fully knowing that the wrath of God that has been stored up for all the sins of the world is about to poured out on him while he suffers the physical anguish of the cross. Jesus in his prayer is very open in and honest. He is asking the Father if there is any other way to save humanity without going through the cross. Then he prays, not my will but yours be done. Jesus is recognizing that authority and trusting the Father’s will above his own.