Inside: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is an inspiring example of overcoming in the 11th hour. Learn the two things you need (and the prerequisite for them) to overcome in your 11th hour.
One of the best examples of an 11th hour meaning in the Bible is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He went to the cross. Those were crucial moments; He could have changed His mind. Thankfully He didn’t!
Would you like to overcome like Jesus in your 11th hour? You might not be facing such drastic circumstances, but you can do what He did to see victory. In short, you must face it alone and trade your will for God’s. Let’s look at these in more detail to see how it can apply to us today. And we’ll see what the prerequisite to those two are.
What Does the 11th Hour Mean?
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of eleventh hour is “the latest possible time before it is too late.”
A lot of the time, we think of God coming through at 11:59 with a miracle. But what about the struggle we as humans face up until that last minute?
I can think of a couple of different major “11th hour” scenarios my family and I are going through right now. And I keep asking myself: Are you going to still be faithful to God through this? Can you trust that He knows best?
So I’m inspired by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s look at the account in Matthew because I’m referencing it further down.
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me.”
39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
40 He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time he went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”
43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.” Matthew 26:36-46Learn the two things you need (and the prerequisite for them) to overcome in your 11th hour. #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet
Overcome in Your 11th Hour by Facing It Alone
Granted, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He wasn’t entirely alone. But the support He desired didn’t happen. Jesus basically said, hey this is how I’m feeling; stay with me (verse 38). But the disciples kept sleeping.
Have you ever been “going through it,” and you felt alone? The people around you won’t always understand what you’re going through or just how difficult it is.
And because of that, they won’t push past their needs to give you what you need. But even when you don’t receive the support you want, you can still face your 11th hour alone like Jesus did.
Jesus’ Prerequisite of Spiritual Growth
Jesus didn’t arrive at this moment without reaching a certain amount of spiritual growth. He was able to face this moment of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane without vigilant disciples at His side because He had chosen over and over again to grow spiritually.
He chose as a child:
- He chose to be about His Father’s business (See Luke 2:49).
- He gained wisdom: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52).
He chose as an adult:
- “In these days, he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). Uhhmm…it’s not easy to pray all night!
- He overcame temptation with the Word (see Matthew 4:1-11).
- He fasted (see Matthew 4:2).
Overcome in Your 11th Hour by Trading Your Will for God’s
What strikes me in the passage from Matthew 26:36-46 above is what Jesus was praying in the garden.
First, Jesus prays IF it’s possible, let this cup (of suffering) pass from Me (verse 39). Then Jesus prays the second time (verses 42), but it changes: “if this cup CANNOT pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (NKJV, emphasis mine).
Between the first prayer and the second prayer, He wrestled with His will and discovered that “yeah, there’s no other way; I’m going to the cross.”
So why did He pray the third time, “saying the same words” (verse 44)?
He knew what was coming, and the human part of him didn’t like it. He had to “crucify His flesh” and yield His will to God’s.
Luke’s account gives details that the other two accounts (in Matthew and Mark) do not:
He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and he knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
43 An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 44 Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. Luke 22:41-44
Sweating drops of blood is a medical condition called hematidrosis that is sometimes “caused by extreme distress or fear, such as facing death, torture, or severe ongoing abuse.”
Jesus’ Prerequisite of Spiritual Growth
Again, Jesus didn’t arrive at this moment without reaching a certain amount of spiritual growth. He was able to face this moment of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane because He had made a practice of yielding His life to the Father’s will up to this point.
And that’s what it’s going to take for you and me in our 11th hour. If we want to overcome like Jesus, then habitually yielding to God is key.
The Pillar of Prayer
Jesus overcame in the Garden of Gethsemane because of prayer.
You need the pillar of prayer in your life to reach your 11th hour breakthrough.
Prayer helped Him face it alone, and prayer helped Him yield His will for the Father’s will.
Yielding to God so you can grow spiritually will get you there.