Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Big Idea: Jesus is faithful even when we aren’t.
Christ and his disciples were spending the night in the Garden of Gethsemane tonight. This was a fairly regular event for them when the city was crowded (like during Passover). This week had been an especially busy one. Jesus and his disciples were physically and mentally worn out.
We can see Jesus’ intense loneliness and sorrow during his time of prayer. This is one of the few prayers of Christ that weren’t specifically meant to instruct or be public teaching. This really was what was on his heart and mind at this time.
We also see his lack of support during his greatest time of need. His disciples were so worn out and weary that they were unable to stay awake. Jesus, who is just as worn out himself, has to remind them 3 times to stay awake and pray. But it was to no avail.
Finally, the big moment came. Jesus’ time had arrived.
Application: Christ was just as tired and weary as his disciples. And it was within his power to forgo his death altogether. But while tired and weak he willingly and lovingly gave his own life for his disciples and for us.And he did it all because he knew what it would mean. He knew that it would bring hope and life to the whole world. He was willing to go through this, not just because of an abstract desire to “save the world,” though that was true, he did it to save these disciples who kept falling asleep. He went through this for the joy that was set before him.
As we grow to become more Christ-like, that doesn’t mean that our lives become easier. But it does mean that our understanding of the value of another person’s soul becomes more crystal clear. We begin to think the way that Jesus does… that serving others, and loving our neighbor is vital to their salvation. We understand that Jesus loved this person so deeply that he endured the cross. Our growth doesn’t make it easier, just more necessary.