The creation story has led us to a garden — a place Jesus knew well. He went there to pray. This would not be an ordinary prayer night for the Rabbi. No, on this night, Jesus’ prayers would encompass a fight between his flesh and the Spirit within him.
The entirety of Jesus’ life and ministry was spent under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. But now the miraculous healings were behind him, his time with the disciples drew short, and only unimaginable emotional and physical pain lay ahead. For all of the difficulty Jesus faced in his ministry, nothing would compare to this night.
He faced the same battle we fight today — the battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Beads of sweat mixed with blood dripped from his brow as he cried, “Take this cup from me!” (Mark 14:36). And yet, for the joy set before him, he was led and empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out what the flesh never could. He subjected himself to a shameful, gruesome, undeserved death saying, “not my will but yours.”
Where does this life in the Spirit truly begin? With death. There may be no greater miracle than for individuals to become servants by subjecting themselves to the death of their flesh’s desires so they may truly live. It is a fight worth winning, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can.
Rabbi Jesus, teach me to trust your Holy Spirit even unto death, that I might experience life more closely linked with your will — life in your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go Deeper — Take time to read Mark 14:32-41 about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. How did Jesus encourage the disciples to battle their temptations? What can you learn from this?
Photo Credit: Yoal Desurmont