The Garden

Jesus in prayer

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, “Stay here while I go and pray over there.” 37 When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. 38 Then he said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.”39 Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”

40 He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter,“Couldn’t you stay alert one hour with me? 41  Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.” 42 A second time he went away and prayed, “My Father, if it’s not possible that this cup be taken away unless I drink it, then let it be what you want.”

43 Again he came and found them sleeping. Their eyes were heavy with sleep.44 But he left them and again went and prayed the same words for the third time. 45 Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “Will you sleep and rest all night? Look, the time has come for the Human One[a] to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46  Get up. Let’s go. Look, here comes my betrayer.”

Imagine the most difficult time in your life…

Now imagine going through that time alone.  Your friends, the ones who were their to support and encourage you are no where to be found.   Sounds pretty terrible right!  It’s impossible to really and truly identify with what Jesus must have been feeling that lonely night in the garden.  As He bore the weight of the world upon His shoulders we catch a glimpse into the raw and real humanity of Christ.

Matthew 26:37  “when he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious.”

I imagine so!  During our time in this holy week, we remember and reflect upon the journey Jesus traveled through pain, suffering and ultimately death.  But so often I read right past those two words that open our eyes to the heart and soul of Jesus on this first stop of His journey to the cross.  He is surrounded by friends, his closest companions, as He experiences the crushing reality of what is soon to come and there in that place he finds himself utterly alone.  What a picture of the reality of the journey He traveled for you and for me.  From the start we see that it is one that only He can make.  He begs with the Father, there has to be another way!  Like any other human reaction to pain, suffering and death, Jesus responds to the fate that He knew awaited Him with sadness and anxiety.  But then with renewed resolve He reminds us of His divinity.  “Not what I want but what you want.”  In two short sentences we see the mysterious reality of Jesus’ humanness and divinity come together.

The sin of the world, our eternal destiny hung in the balance.  We can’t save ourselves, but we serve a God who sent His son Jesus to make a way for us to have life instead of death!

I wonder if you would join me in taking time to remember during each step we take with Jesus this week the reality that they are steps that only He was able to take.  Lets join Him in the garden today.  Witness his agony and pain as the weight of our sin laid heavy upon His shoulders.  Then witness His amazing strength as He willingly takes the first steps towards a punishment that was ours to bear.




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