Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Isaiah 50.4-9a; Psalm 31.9-18; Philippians 2.5-11; Matthew 26.14-27.66 or Matthew 27.11-54
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 70; Galatians 3.10-14; Exodus 13.1-3, 7-9; Psalm 118.1-16; John 12.20-32
“And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” (Matthew 26.39)
Growing up, our holidays included trips to the beach, which I loved! However, I did not always appreciate being dumped by the waves because it meant drinking a lot of sea water, as well as the awful sensation of not being in control.
Most people like to be in control and in command of their lives! But that is not what we are called to do as followers of Jesus. We are called to lay down our lives in service to our Heavenly Father, as Jesus did.
We see this most clearly modelled in today’s Gospel passage with Jesus submitting to the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was betrayed, and all the way to Calvary, where he was crucified on a cross. Through tears of grief and agony, Jesus pleads with God the Father in the garden to spare him the suffering of torture and a violent death, but only if the Father willed it. Jesus could have saved himself as the religious leaders mockingly suggested while they stood at the foot of the cross, but he chose not to. Instead, he willingly took our sin upon himself to save us.
This Holy Week, as we look to Jesus and the glorious love of God, let us renew our hope and our trust in God, living out “Your will be done” as people saved by Jesus’ sacrifice.