In The Garden – Pt. 5
“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.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ “(Matt. 26:36-38, NIV)
Matthew chapter 26:36-38 is such a beautiful passage, yet painful at the same time! This passage allows us to take a peek at Jesus in His humanity. Jesus, with His disciples, is in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He is betrayed by His friend, Judas.
Jesus needed His disciples to stay awake with Him. He needed them to wait, watch, and pray with Him, but His disciples couldn’t. They couldn’t keep their eyes open. When Jesus needed His friends the most, they weren’t there for Him.
Can you feel the sadness, Jesus’ sorrow, distress, and anguish as you read the following passages?
“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ He asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”(Matt. 26:40-41, NIV)
“When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’”(Luke 22:45-46, NIV)
Jesus asked His disciples, His followers, His closest friends, the inner circle to do the simplest thing, stay awake and pray, but they couldn’t make good on it. How disappointing it must have been for Jesus. How lonely He must have felt. However, Jesus understood their weakness. He knew His friends’ heart. He knew their spirit wanted to be there for Him in His time of need, but their flesh could not. Nonetheless, God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43).
The lack of support and the weakness of His friends did not deter the Savior from His journey. Jesus drank the bitter cup and carried a heavy cross to Calvary. Although, His disciples couldn’t do the simplest task, watch and pray with the Lord, the Heavenly Father was there for His Son. When everyone had forsaken Jesus, God was still there.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever needed someone to stand with you, to stand in the gap for you? Have you needed someone to tarry and watch with you while you make a life changing decision? Have you needed a close friend to wait and pray with you, but she couldn’t? Maybe that friend wouldn’t or couldn’t because she was just as weak as you were. Think about it. Maybe someone needed your support, needed your help, your prayers, your presences, but you couldn’t and/or you wouldn’t.
We will have those moments in our lives when we feel like we’re all alone in the garden. We’ll have those seasons when we’re weak and too frail to pray. There may come a time when we’ll feel like we have no support, no one understands us, no one is praying with us or for us. We will experience loneliness.
When we’re in the garden, in the late watch, in our final hours, we can count on God. God will send the Holy Spirit, an angel, someone to strengthen us just like He did His Son. We have a Savior who will tarry with us. Jesus will pray with us and for us. He’s interceding on our behalf right now!
Sisters, in our darkest hour, when friends are nowhere to be found, when our strength has dissipated, we can call on Jesus! Although His friends had forsaken Him in His time of need, Jesus is a friend who will never forsake us. Jesus will stick closer than any brother (Prov. 18:24)!
During your Quiet Time, meditate on God’s Word and be strengthened from His precious promises.
Click here to read Parts 1-4 series of “The Week He Changed Everything”
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