"Pray that you may not enter into temptation." Jesus told Peter, James and John as they approached the olive grove where they often met. Jesus told the other disciples to sit and wait. He then separated Himself a short distance from them and knelt down to pray.
He knew His time had come.
He knew the intense suffering He was about to face. Not only that, but at the height of His suffering, He knew His Father would turn His back on Him. Yes, God being Holy, cannot approve of sin.
Jesus, because of His love for the Father, and because of the Father's love for us, would substitute Himself for us. Jesus would face false accusations, hatred from His own people, ridicule, torment, beatings, lashings and a horrific, uncomfortable, painful death. He was willing to take every one of our sins upon Himself in order for justice to be served so that we sinners, could be made the object of God's mercy!
Every one of us has sinned. We have lied, cheated, stolen, hated others, disrespected authority, demeaned our bodies, put ourselves before others, and dishonored God in a great multitude of ways.
The bible says that in the final days God's wrath will be poured out on those who love their sin so much that they hardened their hearts to Him. Jesus paid the price for God's mercy to be poured out on repentant sinners.
With this in mind, Jesus knelt down in the garden and began to pray, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done." God strengthened Jesus at that very moment. Jesus, being in agony, sweat drops of blood yet, God kept Him from temptation.
Now ready to face this trial, Jesus returned to His disciples to find them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. He asked them why they were sleeping. Again, because He loved them He said, "Rise and Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
We can sympathize with the disciples. With the complications and woes of life, how tempting it is to sleep and to drown out our sorrows into the night! Yet the sun always rises. Jesus, like the sun in all its glory coming over the horizon, will return in the blink of a weary eye. Let us rise up and pray so we are ready for that day!