The view of Jesus recorded in this week’s passage is one that we don’t often think about. It portrays Jesus’ humanity in the clearest sense. As He waits for the hour to come, Jesus is troubled and deeply distressed. He is in so much inner agony and sorrow that it nearly kills Him. He even asked the Father to take away that which stands before Him, if He would. We’ve all had to wait for potentially bad news or a dreaded event and know that the waiting and uncertainty is often worse than the event itself. That certainly is true for Jesus, but not in the way you may think. Jesus spent His hour of suffering and agony in prayer and through it found comfort and strength. When the answer came, that it was God’s will for Him to suffer for many, the suffering ceased to be suffering. He had accepted God’s will and was strengthened for the hour to come.
So what does all this have to do with love? Perhaps you think, like others have, that Jesus almost backed out of His appointment with the cross to save His own hide. Perhaps you think His Father did not love Jesus very much when He refused Jesus’ plea to remove the cup and the hour to come. Well, I beg to differ. I believe there is no greater expression of Jesus’ love found anywhere else in the Bible than in the olive grove at Gethsemane. I believe there is no greater expression of Jesus love for the Father and no greater expression of Jesus’ love for you. In fact, this might just be the greatest love passage in the entire Bible. I hope you’ll join us on Sunday as we try to both fathom and receive so great a love.