Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
This is the moment Jesus could have said no. He could have asked God to let it happen another way, choose another man, pick another method. But more than wanting to be free from the “cup of suffering” he was about to endure, he wanted God’s will to be done. Luke 22:44 says that during this time with the Lord he was in such “agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (NLT). And yet, even in that agony he chose to sacrifice his comfort, his life, his reputation, his everything to die for us: to die for you and me.
Take that in for a moment, walk around with that today. Jesus chose to sacrifice his life for us. He chose to die a painful death so that we could live. So that he could leave us with the Holy Spirit, so that we could be closer to God. He died for each one of us, and he chose to do it.
What would our lives be like without Jesus’ sacrifice? How can we choose to be sacrificial today for the cause of Christ?
Read the passage. Then ask your children these questions.
1. What is Jesus feeling during this passage? Why do you think he feels this way?
2. Have you ever helped someone even though it might have hurt or inconvenienced you to help them? (Consider giving examples: giving your money for something, letting someone go ahead of you in line, etc.)
3. What can we do today to sacrifice something for someone else? (Examples: clean for parents, play with siblings when we don’t want to, bake something, etc.)
Do something for someone else with your children today. Help them to make the connection between Jesus’ sacrifice for them and how we can sacrifice for others.