This post is part of our Holy Week Series. There are 3 sections to lead you in a devotion time: Read, Reflect, and Pray. May the Holy Spirit use it to prepare your heart for Easter and the Resurrection!
36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:36–46, ESV)
Listen to this excerpt from the sermon "Gethsemane" by Ray Cortese.
Lord Jesus, it’s the day of Holy Week we call today Maundy, or “Mandate” Thursday—a day crammed full of glory and overflowing with grace. Israel’s Passover will become the Lord’s Supper—your supper. The entire Old Covenant system of endless temple sacrifices would soon be fulfilled by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of your perfect life (Heb. 10:12). Indeed, “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Having shared eternal glory with the Father, you now show measureless grace to your disciples. Having loved these beautiful broken men well—men who vied for positions of honor a few hours earlier (Mk. 10:35-45), men who would soon all scatter and leave you—having loved them so well, you now show them the full extent of your love.
But the humility you showed by disrobing to wash their feet, was just a preview of the humiliation you were to endure—being stripped naked, publicly shamed, and nailed to the cross… all for the washing of their hearts, and ours. What wondrous love is this, indeed—how wide, long, high, and deep (Eph. 3:14-19). “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). Thank you, Lord, for loving us extravagantly, fully, wondrously.
How then shall we respond? We don’t have to guess. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). This is the New-and-never-ending Command you’ve given us, as your disciples. The most important expression of our “getting” the gospel is for us to love others as you have loved us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Forgive us, Jesus, for of all the ways we love poorly… in thought, word, and deed. Free us for a new season of loving well, to your glory. So very Amen we pray, in your holy and loving name.
"A Prayer for Thursday of Holy Week" by Scotty Smith
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