We often highlight the strength of Jesus when we speak of the sacrifice that he made for our sins but tend to glaze over the pain and agony his soul felt hours before he was betrayed.
Matthew 26:38 says “Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.””
Although Jesus was perfect, because he was in the flesh he still felt emotions just as he did physical pain. He knew that he had been betrayed by a friend, that he would soon be persecuted for others sins, and his physical death was near. He felt the weight of the world on his shoulders which brought him into an extreme and intense sadness and he did not want to be alone. Most of us have experienced a version of sadness, loneliness, and/or feeling weighed down at some point in our lives. It often times feels like too much to bare; we should follow the example of Jesus when he was in the garden and lay before God in prayer.
Matthew 26:39 says “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.””
He asked the Lord to take this trial away from him, take away the burden of his assignment, 3 times. God did not, some things we just have to go through. We are each created for a purpose but just because we are purposed for a thing doesn’t mean it will make it easy. The moments that we are increasing in God or carrying out his works are the moments when we face the most ware fare. Staying in his will and before God’s face just as Jesus did is the way to gain the strength to push through to complete our assignment.
Matthew 26: 40-41 says “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.””
An aspect of this that bothered me was Jesus asking for prayer from those he trusted and was not supported in his time of need. He asked them to pray for him three times , and each time they neglected to assist in covering him and themselves. This is a perfect example of how sometimes when we go through things we can’t turn to our parents, friends, or spouses but we must go to God for ourselves and face what is a head of us with him as our guide.
There is no way we could possibly understand what it felt like in that garden. What we do understand is the pain of being betrayed by a friend. Some of us know what it’s like to be punished for the wrong action of another person and even understand the pain of being “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”. We combat this with prayer, denying our flesh , allowing our spirit man to rise and walk into purpose just as Jesus did in the garden.