Thursday, April 17, 2014
Passion Week - Thursday
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
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. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
It had been an emotional week for Jesus. The people had welcomed Him with palm branches as He rode a donkey into Jerusalem. He taught the hungry crowds parables and lessons, then later continued to teach his disciples in preparation for what was to come. The religious leaders had tried over and over to trap Him and find a reason to arrest Him.
And now in those last precious moments Jesus was most intimate with the men He had invested His life with. He took the disciples with Him to the garden to pray, then pulled Peter, James and John even farther into the garden because He wanted His closest friends there with Him to share in the sorrow that filled Him. Yet this is a burden that only Jesus can carry.
Jesus poured out His heart to God, His Father, in raw honesty. Dying for the sins of the world was not an easy thing to do. God in the form of man still had the emotions of man and the physical pain of man. This was an excruciating task in every way imaginable. And the disciples slept.
They slept while Jesus’ betrayer walked into the garden to send Him to His death. They were not alert, they were not ready.