Matthew 26:38 Then Jesus said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Being human means that we’re subject to all sorts of feelings, injuries, or troubles. When I’m in pain, physically or emotionally, I very quickly talk to God to release me from what is causing it and look to Him to heal or solve my problem. I rely upon His power and promises to mend whatever I’m experiencing, especially when it is something that is beyond my capability or control. Being human, then, also means that we need God to help us time and time again.
When I read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and His emotional turmoil, I feel deeply for Him. This is the all-too-human Jesus who is painfully aware of what He is going to face. There’s no escape, so perhaps He feels boxed in, isolated, and vulnerable. His anguish is almost unbearable and I get the feeling that He is desperately struggling to surrender Himself to God’s will. It makes me sad to read about His torment; it also makes me ashamed because my sins put Christ in that painful predicament.
I’ll never fully understand what Jesus went through to save me and the rest of the world, but I hope that I am always grateful for what He has excruciatingly accomplished. Without Christ’s eventual surrender to God’s will, I could never be forgiven. However, with His acceptance of the cup of wrath, I can be accepted and fully restored to God’s love.
Point to ponder
What do I feel when I read about Christ in Gethsemane? How does His submission affect me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when You struggled to accept Your Father’s will, You must have been tempted to refuse it and run away. Instead of remaining safe, You sacrificed everything for us. We can never truly understand what You experienced that terrible night, but we will always be thankful for its everlasting outcome. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s Holy Week drawings called ‘Star of Gethsemane.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Star.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can view the church website at this link: www.erinpresbyterian.org. Come by and see us anytime. J