“…and being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.”
– Luke 23:44
Not only does Jesus say what He is told to say (John 12:49-50), He does only that which God the Father tells Him to do (John 14:31). Jesus had a baptism set-aside for Him unlike anyone else had seen or will ever see again. He was crucified on the cross for the sins of the world. This cross cast a shadow over Him on the road to Jerusalem. The task the Messiah was sent to accomplish was the actual duty bringing Him the most agony. Jesus said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50).
Jesus is God incarnate and demonstrates two natures on earth, Deity, and humanity. In His humanness, He felt the pain, temptations, and anxieties we feel. Many times we neglect to see our Lord’s humanity, thinking it honors Him more only to view His Deity. However, it only brings our Savior dishonor when humanity is minimized.
The Gospels show Jesus experiencing human limitations. We see Jesus hungry, weary, experiencing human pain, and agony. In His agonizing, we even see Jesus sweating drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane that is believed to be related to the human bodies “fight or flight” response. Rather than do either of these, He chose to surrender to God’s plan. Although distressed about it, it was the very work He came to do.
If Jesus had no human experience, He would not be qualified to help us. Jesus is the only God who came down from His throne to show us the way, He understands. In the Lord’s agony, He prayed more earnestly. If Jesus did that, what makes us think we do not need to just as much or even more? In times of desperation, we must pray more earnestly. The more the pressure, the more the prayer!
“…in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
– Hebrews 2:17-18