The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)

The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)

On the night before his death, Christ went with the apostles to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Faced with the prospect of his upcoming death, Christ became “grieved and agitated.” All alone while the apostles slept, he prayed three times: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

This distressing episode, known as the ‘Agony in the Garden’, is also covered in St Mark’s and St Luke’s gospels. (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46) Christ’s selfless prayer finds its echo in the Our Father, in the words ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.

The book of Hebrews tells us that Christ also wept while praying in the garden: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (5:7)

In this stained glass window, the sorrowful Christ is portrayed kneeling in prayer, dwelling on the cup he was asking to pass him by. He is gesturing towards the cross on which he would die the very next day. Christ is also depicted already wearing the purple robe with which he would later be clothed by the Roman soldiers (cf Mark 15:17). The Latin title at the base of the image, FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA, means ‘your will be done’. The artist who produced the window (which is believed to be Italian or French) is sadly unknown.

See the full image:

Agony_in_Garden_JesusUnknown artist / The Agony in the Garden / Stained glass / 1848

Where to find this work of art
St Raphael’s, Kingston

Read the relevant passage
Matthew 26:36-46

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