JESUS IN GETHSEMANE
Around midnight on Friday morning, Jesus led His disciples to Gethsemane to pray. Gethsemane was also called the Olive Garden because there were many olive trees in that area. It was on a hill facing the east side of the temple. When they arrived in Gethsemane, He took Peter, James, and John with Him to pray a little farther from the rest of the disciples. Jesus began to be deeply distressed and troubled, saying, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch." And going a little farther, Jesus fell to the ground and prayed that, if possible that the hour might pass from Him, "Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." The reason Jesus was distressed and troubled was that He was about to take the sins of this world on Himself and die for them. The cup that Jesus referred to was the suffering He was about to go through. Jesus had the sovereign will to choose not to die for our sins, but He chose to surrender His life to the cross so that He could save us. His faithfulness in obeying our Father in Heaven's will prevailed. Jesus faced death with a passion for saving those who would believe in Him.
When Jesus returned to Peter, James, and John, He found them sleeping. Keep in mind that the hour at this time was between midnight and 3 am, so the disciples were very tired. Jesus encouraged Peter to stay awake for an hour, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptations. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Jesus went to pray the second and third time, and they were all sleeping every time He returned to them. Then Jesus woke them up, saying, "Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!" (Mark 14:32-42). Jesus never rested and slept. It was now early Friday morning, and He was about to be arrested. The disciples did not know what was about to happen. They would be shocked and scared once the soldiers, temple guards, and religious leaders arrested Him. This was the reason Jesus was telling Peter to pray so that they would not succumb to the temptation of fear; however, they didn't pray because of their tiredness.
It was difficult for Jesus to take our sins upon Himself and die for them because He was a Holy God. Holy and sin do not mix, but Jesus made it possible on Himself. As a result, God the Father had to judge Him for our sins and put Him to death on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins. Jesus loves us so much that He took our sins upon Himself so that He may save us. May we surrender our lives to Him as He surrendered His life for us.
Ask yourself these questions: Why was Jesus distressed and troubled? Why did Jesus choose to go through suffering and death for me? What should be my response to His willingness to die for me?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Lord Jesus, thank you for choosing to drink the cup of suffering to save me. You could have chosen to skip the night of your betrayal, go back to Heaven, and forget about me. But you chose to bear my sins upon Yourself to save me. Thank you for surrendering your life to save me. May you help me to surrender everything to you and serve you with all my life. In Your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.