Wednesday, March 31st

Read Matthew 26:36-39.

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.”
Matthew 26:39 (NRSV)

Have you had times in life when you had to put on your “brave face”? Those times when you were worried, grieved, or fearful – but you knew it would do no good to let others see that you were?

I have had a few of those moments. I was a resident advisor in my college dormitory during a winter blizzard that left us without heat or water. I tried to display positivity while we manually cleaned out toilets and shivered from the cold. Another time, I smiled and waved to my preschool daughter as she was taken away for minor surgery. And a few years ago, I cheerfully chatted as the infusion nurse started my IV of chemotherapy for the first time. Each time, my outer countenance appeared peaceful, confident, serene. My inner soul? Not so much. In my private moments, personal prayers, and sleepless nights, I let my worries surface, my tears flow, my heart ache, and my fears reign.

Yet none of these moments come close to what Jesus had to face…

In yesterday’s reflection, Jesus’s countenance seemed peaceful and calm as he spoke his loving words of assurance to his disciples. Today, we see a different side to him in the Garden of Gethsemane. His human anguish is very real and raw. I feel SO sad to witness his doubt and agony – to see the inner struggle beneath his brave face. But this moment also deeply impacts and blesses me. For I begin to understand how terrible this was for him, how completely he loved God and all of us, and how he chose to do what would bless the world despite his great inner turmoil.

Our invitation for today is to remember that Jesus was human like us… to try to fathom how desperately he asked God to let this cup pass from him… to be deeply grateful that he endured everything anyway, while trusting God to make good come from it all.


May we never forget and always be grateful for the human suffering and anguish Jesus felt, for we know that in him, God was truly one of us.


Our reading for tomorrow will be Mark 14:32-50.

Photo by Joel Swick on Unsplash

Bible verses taken from BibleGateway.com

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