Jesus prays in the garden

Our journey begins today.

Day 6 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Matthew 26:36-46

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”And He came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.

After leaving them, He went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the time is near. The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up; let’s go! See, My betrayer is near.”

Jesus spent His last moments before His arrest in prayer, pouring out His heart and devotion to His Father. Of all that Father and Son must have spoken those last few hours before His physical suffering would begin, this is recorded in Scripture: “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

And, three different times, Jesus urged His disciples, before they would scatter and face the reality of His death, to stay awake and to pray.

As we worked through this passage of Scripture together as a family, these two phrases were repeated again, and again:

Not my will, but your will.

Stay awake and pray.

For our family activity, we made praying hands. We traced the kid’s hands, and they decorated them and cut them out. After taping a popsicle stick to the back, they were able to clap them together to pray, or raise them to the sky in praise. On the hands we wrote: Not my will, but your will.

Jackson's praying hands: Not my will, but your will.

Jackson’s praying hands: Not my will, but your will.

Garden prayer and Seder fare

Out in the middle of the woods today, we spread a picnic blanket on the ground.

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Jackson, Papa and Lauren share snacks

As we ate snacks, we remembered what Jesus did before He was arrested. We looked around at the trees and imagined what the Garden of Gathsemene would have been like as Jesus spent His last moments pouring His heart out to His Father.

So, we also bowed our heads, and Jackson led us in prayer thanking God for Jesus dying on the cross.

Tonight, for the first time as a family, we celebrated Passover at our church’s Seder supper. What an amazing experience!

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Jackson ceremonially washes his hands at the Seder supper

Besides spilling three of the four cups of grape juice on the white table cloth, Jackson discovered that matzah is “pretty good.” He also enjoyed helping the other children find pieces of leavened bread in the fellowship hall to throw away.

What resonated with me most was that Jesus is the fulfillment of every element of each Passover tradition. Just as God delivered the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, Jesus severed the chains of sin wrapped around us through the victory He would complete on the cross the day after He shared this last meal with His disciples.

Lauren miraculously managed to stay in her seat the entire time and not make too much noise, thanks to huge quantities of goldfish crackers and Teddy Grahams, as well as Seder coloring sheers.

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Lauren colors while I search for snacks.