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The Fate of the World on One Choice - Holy Thursday

The Agony in the Garden (Luke 22:39-46)

Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”

We find ourselves in the evening of Holy Thursday. Jesus has just celebrated the Passover with His disciples and has washed their feet. He shares with them what will transpire; however, they have a difficult time understanding. Jesus realizes that He needs to communicate with the only one who does understand: His heavenly Father.

Jesus finds Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane upon the Mount of Olives. The mountain was one of the historical places that the most important people of the Hebrew Scriptures would communicate with God. On this night, the most important of them all would communicate with God to make the most important decision He would ever have to make: "...take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." As a faithful Son, Jesus recognizes what must be done; yet, there is an immense struggle with accepting the journey ahead of Him. He struggled so much that our Gospel tells us that "his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground."  

This moment in the Garden is the moment the choice is made to undergo His Passion. When He discovers that His disciples are sleeping, Jesus could have escaped under the protection of the darkness. We have to wonder if this was an option He considers as he catches His disciples sleeping. We must remember that while Jesus was 100% Divine, He was also 100% Human. He felt and was tempted just as we are today. The fate of humanity rested on His decision.

All of us make decisions on a daily basis both big and small. Very few of us actually include God in on those decisions. The next time we struggle with making a decision, consider turning to the source of strength, God Himself, just as Jesus turned to Him in the moment of His agony. We may never sweat blood when we consider our decisions, but we can be assured of receiving divine strength when we enter into the Garden with Jesus. If you doubt the strength of that Garden, remind yourself that the fate of heaven and earth rested on His one decision.