Getting ready for Easter – Thursday

Scripture: Matthew 26:36-56

Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane has two overarching themes that get me. First, we have the failure of Jesus best friends to pray with him when He was in anguish. I can’t be too hard on these guys because there are countless times I have failed to pray with people when they needed me most. Second, Jesus focus on the cup that he wished could pass. In the Old Testament, the cup was an image of Divine wrath being poured out on the wicked (see Psalm 11:6, 75:8, Isaiah 51:17-22, Jeremiah 25:15-28). Jesus knew what the next day would hold. All of God’s wrath and hatred for sin would be poured out on Jesus, His own Son. And Jesus would take it all. The greatest line of his prayer states, “If this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Wow! Not my will, but yours be done, no matter what it costs me or how hard it will be. I hope I can pray in this way.

Personal exercise – Consider doing a fast today. If you have never fasted, pick a single meal to fast. Or you might try a wake-up to dinner fast, where you skip breakfast and lunch. The goal of fasting is to remove something from your life, usually food, in order to focus on Jesus and your relationship with Him. If you fast from food, use the time you might have eaten to pray, read Scripture, journal thoughts, and think about the cross. You might choose to fast from TV for a day, or from the Internet (other than getting tomorrow’s blog of course).

Family exercise – Two things you could do with your family. You might try a media fast for a day with the family. Turn off the TV and other media, and spend time with the family, talking about Easter. The other idea, go to a garden or a beautiful park (not a playground) and use that setting to think about Jesus prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Spend time as a family praying in the garden.

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