Jesus’ Prayer and Arrest in Gethsemane

In this extended passage (Matthew 26:36-56) what seems to be emphasized is the fact that Jesus must die! It was the will of God, and it could not be thwarted. In His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was distressed about His upcoming death in which He was to die for sinners on the cross. What distressed Him was probably not just crucifixion, but perhaps He knew that God His Father would for a time forsake Him because He would on the cross bear the sins of mankind. He asked the Father three times about the cup passing from Him, the cup filled with the wrath of God. In each of the prayers, Jesus probably said something like this, “…not as I will, but as You will” (vv.39, 42, 44).
Jesus must die, but as He said regarding His life, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:18). When His betrayer, Judas Iscariot, had led the authorities to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an attempt to prevent it. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, and then spoke these words indicating that His death which was in accordance with God’s will prophesied in the Old Testament Scripture must take place. “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26:53-54)