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Matthew 26:36-46: Jesus' Agony in the Garden

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The road that Jesus accepted on the way to Calvary had to first pass through the Garden of Gethsemane (גת שמנים olive press in Hebrew). It was here that Jesus, in his humanity, experienced true “fear, distress, anguish, and sorrow.” These emotions which Jesus felt that night were real. According to James Keating and Thomas White, who used Thomas Aquinas, states that Jesus has two natures, human and divine. Both were aching with grief. They explain that all humans have two wills, which are caught in a web of tension. The first will is our sensitive will, which contains our emotions. The second is our rational will where our rational decisions are made. Seeing that Jesus is fully human, he had both of these wills in operation in Gethsemane. In Jesus’ first prayer we see his sensitive will begging his father to find another way. Jesus felt true fear on this level, because no one wants to die. Yet, in Jesus’ second prayer his rational will takes over as he accepts the will of the Father. Within Jesus there is also a divine will. This divine will was also aching, because of humanities many sins. His divine will and rational will conform perfectly, according to Keating and White. Therefore, they surmise that Jesus in his first prayer was being hit with agony from his sensitive and divine wills. Together these two wills overwhelmed Jesus’ rational will. But in the end his rational will overcame his sensitive and his divine wills. Although the intense crisis in the garden that Jesus experienced was not imposed on him by his Father, the experience was necessary. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to unfold the events that occurred in Gethsemane in an attempt to show why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer.

Jesus at the conclusion...

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