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April 14, 2022

I think it is appropriate to pray a prayer of agreement regarding the 40-day prayer strategy Holy Spirit gave Jane Hamon before I actually read today’s post on Christ’s Passion Week.


Father, we agree in prayer with many people around our nation, asking for the hearts of any deceived leaders in our government to turn, just as Jonah’s heart turned. Save them, deliver them from deception and all demonic influence. And we pray for America, that a spirit of repentance would indeed invade our land, turning the hearts of millions back to You. If this could happen in Nineveh, it can happen in America. They were spared great judgment, and received great revival. We pray that for this nation, in Christ’s name.


Passion Week: The Agony of Gethsemane


“Leaving there, He went, as He so often did, to Mount Olives. The disciples followed Him. When they arrived at the place, He said, ‘Pray that you don’t give in to temptation.’” (Luke 22:39; MSG)


“The Place” spoken of by Luke was Gethsemane. It had become Christ’s favorite place of prayer. This is how Judas, who had left the last supper early, knew where to take the soldiers to find Him. Christ would spend three hours there that night agonizing over the ordeal He was facing. During this time He would wrestle with His human desire for this cup of suffering to pass from Him: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)


The agony of these three hours was horrible beyond description. Combining the accounts of the gospels, we know that Christ started this prayer time on His knees (Luke). But Matthew tells us that He eventually fell on His face as He agonized. Mark added that He fell repeatedly. Christ would kneel, fall on His face, get up, and repeat the process. At one point, the agony of what He was experiencing, as well as what He knew was coming soon, was so great that the capillaries in His face burst and blood mixed with sweat oozed through the pores of His skin (Luke 22:44). This is a medical condition known as hematidrosis. I believe our redemption was actually beginning here when the first drop of Christ’s blood was shed, not when He finally made it to the Cross.


Again, through a harmony of the Gospel accounts, and by more in-depth definitions of the words chosen by Holy Spirit, we can get a much more complete look at what Jesus truly experienced in the garden.


When Christ “withdrew” from the disciples to pray by Himself (Luke 22:41), Luke uses a stronger word than the other Gospel writers (apospao). It means “to tear away.” Wuest translates it accordingly, “He tore himself away from them.” Probably more than any time in His life, Christ wanted the comfort of being with friends, yet He knew He would have to face this ordeal alone.


We are told that Yeshua became “sore amazed, exceedingly sorrowful and very heavy” in His emotions (Matthew 26.37-38; Mark 14:33-34). More literal definitions of the words used by Holy Spirit give us powerful descriptions of what He was feeling:


  • Ademonein: “to be troubled and in anguish, to be in a state of great anxiety; used of one who is rendered helpless, disoriented, agitated, and anguished by the threat of an approaching event.”

  • Perilupus: “to be very sad, environed or surrounded with deep grief.”

  • Ekthambeisthai: “to be exceedingly astonished, either with wonder or fear; to be in the grip of a shuddering horror.”


Wuest says Christ was “thoroughly alarmed.” The intensity of what was happening was even greater than what He had expected. It was alarming to Him! Matthew 26:38 says He was agonizing “to the point of death.” The word used demands that this is taken literally. Though death could NOT take Christ before it was time for Him to yield up His spirit, humanly speaking, He was close to death in the garden.


Again, I believe our redemption - specifically, the taking of our emotional wounds, rejections, and sorrows upon Himself - began in the garden of Gethsemane. Isaiah prophesied of Christ:


“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging, we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5; NASB)


Don’t waste a moment of Christ’s suffering for you. Everything He did was redemptive. Every second of suffering and abuse was for you and me, taking our place. Let it bring healing to every part of your soul that may be hurting. Jesus can heal every form of abuse, rejection, betrayal, and loss. He paid for this! Receive it now.


After three hours of this agony, Christ prevailed. He broke through into peace and was now in complete control of every emotion. At this point, Judas came with soldiers and betrayed Christ with a kiss, kataphileo. This form of the word was more than just the friendly kiss on the cheek (phileo), a common greeting in many countries. This form of the word implies a stronger affection, perhaps with a hug or a lingering kiss on the cheek. That is why in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus questions Judas, “Are you betraying me with this type of affection, Judas?” (Luke 22:48)


Christ then asks the soldiers, “Who are you seeking?” When they told Him they were looking for Jesus, He simply said, “I AM” (John 18:4-5). Not, “I am He,” as most translations say. But Jesus spoke His God-name from throughout eternity: “I AM.” And the power of His name, of His words, knocked the soldiers backward onto the ground. Christ is, indeed, the Almighty.


At this point, Peter pulled out a sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the High Priest. Jesus promptly touched it and healed it! (Luke 22:51) The great I AM, indeed! The Healer! The Great Physician! And in this time of His redemptive suffering, He is seen ministering even to his enemies.


At this point, Jesus was led away to be tried and crucified. We will look at this tomorrow.


Pray with me:


Father, we can think and muse on the sufferings of Christ, but we can never fully understand what it must have felt like for God, Himself, to be placed in a human body so He could feel our pain and agonize for us. As His Father, the agony You must have felt on that day had to have been immeasurable. The temptation to answer Christ’s prayer, “Let this cup pass from Me,” must have been overwhelming. But You knew there was no other way to save us - we had to have a perfect, sinless substitute. You who spared not Your own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall You not also with Him, freely give us all things! (Romans 8:32) Thank You!


And Jesus, words fail us. You, the Prince of Peace, suffered mental anguish and emotional trauma for us. You allowed Yourself to feel mental and emotional pressure until Your capillaries burst and Your skin oozed blood. Now, You truly are our unexplainable peace and unspeakable joy. You are! We worship You today. We exalt You above all others. We love You from the depths of our hearts. May our incense of worship rise before You, bringing You the pleasure You so deserve.


And for the satisfaction of Your heart, not ours, send revival to the earth! Bring a billion souls into the family in this coming revival. Satisfy Your love-filled heart with a billion more family members. You love them all.


In Christ’s name we pray, amen.


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