Gethsemane: A Place of Strength

“Go to dark Gethsemane, All who feel the tempter’s power; Your Redeemer’s conflict see, Watch with Him one bitter hour; Turn not from His griefs away; Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.” - “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (LSB 436, v. 1)

Luke takes us to the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:39–46, where Jesus prays to His heavenly Father and submits Himself to His Father’s will. At the heart of this scene is the humble obedience of Christ to His Father’s will of dying for our salvation.

Yet, in the same scene the disciples are struggling to pray and in desperate need of encouragement from their Lord. Their sorrow overwhelms them, and Jesus not only encourages them to take solace in prayer, but He also gives Himself to suffering for our salvation that He might open to us the gift of prayer.

This stark contrast between Jesus and the disciples reveals the wonder of God sending us a Savior from sin. Although we are weak and unable to pray in the midst of temptation, there is one who is strong and endures the wrath of God for us. By grace through Him and faith in Him, we are encouraged to pray.

As the writer to the Hebrews reminded the early Christians, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).

God Bless,

Pastor Joel