I have never been present at the end of adoration on Holy Thursday night before tonight. I’ve always gone at the beginning, as Jesus enters the garden with the apostles after the Last Supper. I’ve always been there in His agony as He asks three times, “Please take this cup from me.” Three times, the answer is no.
However, at the end of the night, Jesus’ response is, “Thy will be done.” He is done with the asking, and knows what He must do. There is an incredible difference from the beginning to the end of this garden scene that I have never noticed before. At the end, Jesus is calm, resolute, and tells Peter, James, and John, “Come, my betrayer is at hand.”
We all have or will have our moments of agony in the garden. I have had plenty of times when I have told God,
“I can’t do this.”
“I don’t want to do this.”
“Please don’t make me do this.”
And even, just, plain, “I’m not going to do this.”
And plenty of times, God has answered me,
“I need you to do this.”
“I need you to be there with your child as they go through this.”
“I won’t take this away from you.”
And just, plain, “Yes, you are.”
God will not always take away the thorn that is in our side, nor will He always stop the suffering that we encounter. But in a very real way, He tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
It’s all that we need. And so, as we come to the end of our time in the garden, we stand straight and strong, knowing that whatever God has for us, He will never abandon us. Knowing that whatever we might suffer, Jesus suffers with us.
Jesus is taken from the garden on this night of Holy Thursday, but He is not taken unwillingly. He goes, knowing that God’s grace will transform all that is coming, and there is no way that Jesus would turn away from it.