Redemption Hill Church
In the city, for the city
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Agony – Luke 22:39-46

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 

The other day one of my sons came home from school and the first question out of his mouth was, “Dad, where in the Bible does it say that Jesus was God?” My first thought was, “Jon, great job training your child to ask such deep and rich theological questions.” That prideful thought very quickly fled because I knew something must have come up in school for him to ask me that, and so I asked him, “So, what discussion were you having in school today?” He relayed a story about a conversation he had with a friend discussing that he believed that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Not sure how that came up at school, but I was encouraged he was having this conversation.

We talked about Jesus stating that He and the Father are one in John 10 as well as signs that Jesus was fully human like John 11:35 where we see Jesus weep. This passage of Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives is another one that shouts Jesus’ humanity. Jesus prays to the Father. He pleads with the Father. And Jesus is shown to be in agony.

Agony can come in many different shapes, but what is true of agony is that it can break us. It can cause us to run away. It can cause us to shake our fists at God. Or it can cause us to run to the Father.

Jesus had known all along what He came to earth for. And as He is facing what is about to take place—betrayal, beatings, mocking, and ultimately death—He doesn’t run or flee. He does plead with the Father to remove the suffering that is about to take place, and agonizes over what is happening. Yet, He desires the Father’s will above His own.

Trusting God with the entirety of our lives can be so difficult. There is no promise of a life free from agony. There is no promise that God will not give us more than we can handle. But there is the promise of God hearing, God knowing, and God’s will being good and perfect. In the midst of our own agony, may we be a people who run and cling to the Father, trusting His perfect will for our lives.

Questions to ponder:

  • When have you been in deep agony?
  • How does Jesus’ response to the agony He is facing encourage you?
  • What do you need to cry out to God for right now?

– Jon Rees

Download the 2017 Passion Devotional booklet here.