Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” – Matthew 26:36-41
Often times I feel burdened by the weight of brokenness. My own brokenness, the brokenness of others and I have read before that my job is to lay them at the feet of Jesus, for Him to carry it but as I read this 1st station, I see that Jesus didn’t like it either. He was distressed and anguished at what Father God was calling Him to do. Why was Jesus’ soul crushed with grief? Whose grief? Ours? His own? Was He worried with what He was about to be called to do? What was going to befall Him?
Did Jesus know His whole life that He would be a sacrificed for us? Do you think then that Jesus’ sarcasm throughout the Bible was tinged with humour or with anger?
Jesus asked for the cup of suffering to be taken away and ‘yet’ He wanted the Father’s will to be done and not His own. It’s quite contradictory. It’s as if Jesus too suffers from this inner conflict, this push and pull that I often feel in me. I want to do things my way but I also want to obey God. It is a constant battle within me. In Jesus’ case, He manages to put aside His own will and follow the Father’s will. I think it takes so much to surrender that because He could have opted out not to save us. He didn’t have to go through any of it. But He did.
Jesus was sarcastic, wasn’t He? “Couldn’t you keep watch with me even 1 hour?” I think I would be like the disciples. I know I will be. It is true. My spirit is willing but the body is weak. But my spirit is also weak. Not strong enough. I often times give in to temptation. I wonder what temptation Jesus was referring to here. How were his sleepy disciples being tempted?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus Christ. Without Him, where would we be? Thank you that Jesus Christ had such a strong will to do what You asked of Him. It is not easy to have insight and know the outcome was not going to be pleasant or easy. Did Jesus know the end game? If He did, why would He whine? Wouldn’t He have sucked it up?
Even though I know the end game, I still whine, I still lose sight, I still complain, I still lose faith and heart.
Why do I get distressed? Why do I get anxious? What am I upset about? Is it my sin? Is it the brokenness that gets to me? Is it because the flesh keeps on winning? I feel comforted knowing that Jesus felt anguish. Because it means it is normal to have these feelings. That we don’t need to live this happy go lucky type of faith but we are allowed moments of deep grief.
What was this sadness that Jesus felt? Why did He feel this way? Was it for His own situation or because of us?
Help me to have perspective. To see as Jesus saw. To plead like Jesus did. To pray like Jesus did.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.