“So that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Luke 22:35-53 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? 53 While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
In today’s text it says: He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. In Luke 22:20 Jesus said: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is being poured out for you.” The cup was and is a symbolic representation of the blood of Jesus which was poured out as a seal of the new covenant. Here, in today’s text, even before He was beaten; even before the cruelty of the crown of thorns or the nails in His hands and His feet, the blood of Jesus was being poured out for the sins of the world. The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke all mention the portion of Jesus prayer when He said: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” The accounts tell us that He prayed for hours. I don’t believe that Jesus repeated those words for hours and neither do I believe that it was His prayer for Himself that caused Him such great agony that His sweat became like drops of blood. I think John captured and recorded the essence of Jesus prayer in the garden that night.
John 17 says: Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” Jesus agonized not over what He was about to face, but rather He agonized and interceded on behalf of His disciples for what they would face. His prayer continued: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” Those who believe in Me through their word. That night two thousand years ago in the garden, Jesus prayed for you and me. He agonized and interceded to the point of sweating drops of blood, not just that we would be saved, but also that we would walk with Him; so that we would have a testimony of His salvation, “so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Jesus continued praying: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” Facing the cruelty of the cross to fulfill the Father’s will, Jesus spoke of the love of the Father. The world tries to define and demonstrate love in many ways, but as Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. Until we know the love of God, demonstrated in the cruelty of the cross, that Christ shed His blood, that it was poured out for us, we cannot begin to comprehend the love that would cause Jesus, when faced with His own death, to agonize over our lives. We cannot begin to comprehend love.
Thank You Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for the demonstration of Your love. Thank You Jesus that You died for our sins, but even before the cross, You agonzied and interceded that we might live. May my life truly be a witness and a testimony of Your great love, so that the world will know that the Father sent His Son. Amen.