A Cup We Can’t Drink
Gracious Father, it’s hard to imagine the great sacrifice that You made in giving Your Son to die for me.
Read Mark 14:32-42
 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”  Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.  When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.  Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat picture of Jesus do you see here?
After all the calm and clarity comes the crisis for Jesus. The thing to remember here is that Jesus is fully human and, as such, he experienced all that other humans do. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Jesus is “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (34). There’s a question here: if Jesus knows the end result is resurrection and victory, why is he so full of sorrow? Was it the impending suffering, the thought of pain? Death held particular terrors for Jesus. Death is the heartland of the enemy. Jesus, the source of life eternal, would die. The Light of the World would plunge into darkness unimaginable. Even more distressing was the thought of a previously eternally unbroken fellowship with the Father being broken. As Jesus takes upon himself the sin of the whole world, he’ll be forsaken and abandoned, an object of repulsion to the Father. His act of mending the world would ironically require the most agonizing suffering and brokenness. Little did the disciples realize that Jesus’ prayers were so painful and draining. They slept through the most agonizing time in his life (37,38) until the betrayer arrived (42).
Reflect on the anguish that Jesus endured for you in the garden. Ask for help to “be alert” to the suffering of others.
Lord, help me to see and respond appropriately with Your compassion to those around me who are suffering.