Lord, I wince at what You suffered for me.
Read MARK 14:32–42
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
37 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? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 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. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
a Mark 14:36 Aramaic for father
New International Version (NIV)
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Rejoice that Jesus has promised to be with us always.
The desertion of the disciples has not yet taken place, but the scene we face today is even more poignant. Here is Jesus agonizing in prayer, contemplating the awfulness of the cross, looking for support from his disciples and especially the three who have been closest to Him – but they’re asleep. Jesus was accustomed to spending nights on his own, talking to His Father, but on this occasion He wants human companionship and support. Ironically, the one who will promise to be with us always is on His own to face this moment. How much Jesus suffered for us, even emotionally.
Jesus is perhaps reflecting on the refrain of Psalms 42 and 43(Ps 42:5, 11;43:5) as He begins His prayer. He prays in Aramaic and Greek (Abba, Pater) to address his Father, words that would become a staple of Christian prayer (Rom 8:15), as we too share the intimacy of a relationship with God. Jesus prays that the cup of agony and suffering representing the wrath of God against sin (cf. Isa 51:17; Ps 60:3) might, if possible, be taken from Him – but He knows and accepts that His Father’s will has the higher claim on Him.
It is here in the garden that we see most clearly what the suffering of the cross means to Jesus personally. There is no stoic bravado or stiff upper lip. Instead, there is an acceptance of the Father’s will; there is no other way to deal with sin and bring in the kingdom than through His own death. His attitude is an example to us, that we also might accept the Father’s will and be among those who do watch and pray that, like Jesus, our resolve will not waver.
Express your love to Jesus in response to His suffering for us.
Lord, thank You for submitting to the Father’s will so that many millions can enjoy heaven forever with You.