“36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and** began to be grieved and agitated**. 38 Then he said to them,** “I am deeply grieved, even to death;** remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;[e] the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”” Mt. 26:36-46 (NRSV)
I think that this incident is extremely interesting theologically and would like everyone’s take on it. There are several questions that arise:
- Why did Christ pray for the hour to pass from him?
- Is there a conflict here between Christ’s will and the Father’s, as v. 39 seems to say? If so, how could Christ and the Father be one in essence?
- How do we deal with the fact that Christ knew all along that he was going to the cross and even wanted to go (see Mt. 16:21-23), yet here he wants the hour to pass from him?
I think that this passage is obviously impressively authentic, since an opponent could probably use this passage as a negative statement about Christ. Anyways, what are everyone’s thoughts?