Station #1: Strength

Luke 22:39-46  (NIV)

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” *

It was go time.  The reason Jesus came to earth was to become sin for us, so we might all be reconciled to God.  This was the only solution because no man was ever born on earth who would be good enough on his own to stand blameless before a holy God.  Only Jesus Christ.  And this is why he is our messiah:  because he takes on all the sins of all people for all time so we don’t have to.

What would it be like to live a heavenly life so closely connected to God Almighty that you are a part of him?  To be God’s strong right arm that helped create all things that exist on earth?  To know that one day you would lay down all your divine qualities to live humbly on earth as a mortal man?  To live a humble, quiet life on earth in a family, surrounded by friends, admirers and enemies?  But God, your Father, was still so close to you on earth that He showed you what He wanted you to do and gave you words to say.  God poured His Holy Spirit on you fully so that you had every spiritual gift and all the fruit of the Spirit.  God’s presence was so close to you it was a part of you—your words, your knowledge, and how you defined yourself.

You were made for this moment.  It all comes down to a horrible death.  And part of fulfilling your destiny is to be separated from God, your Father, for a little while.  God would still be alive and active, but He would no longer be telling you what to say or holding you under the shelter of His wings.  You would be on your own now.  And the task before you is the hardest thing you have ever done in your earthly life.  It is the hardest thing anyone who ever lived had to endure, because no one else could do what you were about to do.  It all depended on you, and your Father was about to separate away from you for a short time.  How would you feel?  What would you pray?

Dear Heavenly Father, I love you.  I trust you.  You know me.  You know my destiny.  I am so glad you can help me.  Whenever I have to do any incredibly difficult thing I am not alone.  Your love covers and protects me.  I trust you, Father.  You are good.  You are perfect.  I am so sorry your Son had to suffer so much for me, but I submit to your perfection.  Jesus did the most difficult thing so I wouldn’t have to do it.   Please strengthen me and my friends for the testing that surely awaits us.  Help me to feel your luxurious love for me.  Help me to walk more closely with you.  Help me better understand you and your plans for me.  Thank you for Jesus.  AMEN.

* This scripture passage is taken from the NIV version of the bible, found on biblegateway.com.  This first prayer for strength for Stations of the Cross originally appeared on jaynechaseloseke.com on February 27, 2014 and at Faith Bible High School.

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