This morning I’ve been dwelling on one of the most agonizing moments in history. The moment when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read about it and we may appreciate it for a short time, but take a minute and think about it with me this morning.
You can find the story in Matthew chapter 26. It starts out with Jesus and the disciples getting ready to prepare the Passover. I can’t get into that right now because Passover excites me! But they were getting ready to head to Jerusalem to celebrate. They were in the house of Simon the leper.
While they were in Simon’s house a woman came an emptied an entire alabaster box of expensive ointment on his head. This ointment was sweetly perfumed. Everyone there, including the disciples, were angered and wondered why? They said it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Can’t you just hear it? It sounds so spiritual, doesn’t it? While they were scolding her, Jesus said she was preparing him for his burial. What a statement! They really had not clue what was coming.
After the Passover, Jesus went into the garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James and John.
Matthew 26: 38-46
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
He told them he was sorrowful, EVEN UNTO DEATH. They were going to pray and he asked them to watch with him. Yet they fell asleep. I can’t imagine that. Jesus was in the most desperate moment of his life and they fell asleep! He goes back to check on them and finds them sleeping. How would it make you feel? To know that you are facing death and there is no way around it and your best friends are sleeping.
He prays Father if it be thy will let this cup pass from me. He didn’t want to have to drink from the cup before him. BUT he said not my will but yours be done. I imagine this cup held the sin of the world. The Father was making him take it all our filthiness up on himself. He bore OUR guilt. When he took our sin he took our guilt. It was a heavy burden to bear. You can see why his sweat became as great drops of blood.
And while this is going on, his hand chosen ones, his best friends are sleeping. It breaks my heart to know that he was so alone in such a moment, and in the same breath,
I’m comforted by it. Why you ask? Because he knows loneliness. He knows what its like to feel truly alone. Do you see what I mean? He knows what WE go through.
When Jesus is done praying and he goes back and still finds them sleeping, he finally says keep on sleeping, its time now the hour of my betrayal is at hand.
Try to put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. His agony had to have been so great. Humanity depended on him. Talk about a superhero! He is the picture of what a superhero is.
When your world seems to be falling down around you, remember he knows the pain you feel. He’s had his friends leave him in his darkest hour. He was betrayed by one who loved him. Jesus is acquainted with your grief and your sorrow. Lay it on him, he already paid the price for it all. He’s waiting for you to hand it over to him.