For Lent season and Easter preparation, I wanted to include a song that features Jesus’ time in the garden of Gethsemane, the night before He died. There aren’t many songs specifically about this event, but Need To Breathe has one and it’ll do the job just fine.
Need To Breathe is a rock quartet out of South Carolina who have over 13 years of experience under their belts. They are a good example of a modern Christian band who avoid the need for extensive labels, yet they are unashamedly clear about their beliefs.
This song takes the liberty of guessing at some of the things that Jesus might have said in His prayer to His Father on that scandalous night. It isn’t theologically perfect and it tends to drift off into a ballad about singing songs to God, too; but there is an important sentiment at its core that is worth meditating upon:
Won’t you take this cup from me
Cause fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
Pray you’ll save their souls with it
Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you
In this hour of doubt I see
Who I am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale
Father let my heart be for you
The sentiment that resonated strongly for me from this song is the one that matches a real prayer given by Jesus shortly before His death, recorded in John 17:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You…I have revealed You to those whom You gave me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to me and they have obeyed Your word. Now they know that everything You have given me comes from You…I pray for them…Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one.
“…Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You… Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me…I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Sounds a lot like “If tomorrow means my death, Pray you’ll save their souls with it…So love can live to tell the tale.”
Clearly, one of the most special things about what Christ did for us on the cross is that He really wanted us to know and experience His love for us and His love for His Father God. When His hour of truth and ultimate testing came He had us on His mind and heart. When we spat in His face, mocked His glory, and drove the nails in His flesh He cried out, “Father forgive them!”
I do believe that one treasure awaiting us in Heaven is the sweet reminiscing of those biblical moments that we can only now imagine. Consider sitting around the campfire while Jesus played back that John 17 prayer in all its emotion and detail. Or listening to Peter laugh about how they ran to the empty tomb, not understanding yet how their great Teacher had defeated death for them!
For now, our hearts are greatly helped by at least picturing our Saviors big heart for us during that fateful night when He could have considered so many other things. Praise Him and thank Him today that He was able and oh so willing to follow through with the Father’s plan to save us! The cup did not pass from Him, His blood was shed, and we are saved!