Today we are reading from Mark 14: 32-42:
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” 37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Tim Keller, my favorite current preacher/teacher has a quote I love (it’s actually a tweet): The basic premise of religion–that if you try hard to be good, things will go well for you is wrong. Jesus lived perfectly yet suffered.
We see Jesus begin His suffering right here. He goes and He prays. Three times He prays, and He finds His disciples asleep, unable to pray with Him. There He is, in this moment before the cross, in this moment before everyone will leave Him, in this moment before He is betrayed by His disciple, He prayers.
Alone. Hard. His humanity desiring another way; His divinity knowing it is the only way. He prayed, take this cup from me. But not what He wanted, what God wanted. Even Jesus prayed for suffering to pass, and suffering came His way.
Of all the moments leading up to the cross, this is the hardest for me to read, besides the actual crucifixion. When you read it, you can almost feel it. You can almost experience it. There He was, pouring His heart out to His Father, and in the end, submitting the plan of the Father.
He did everything perfectly. He was sinless. Sin knew no part of Him. And yet He still suffered. He still was met with trials. He still was met with pain.
What makes us think that we will not be? We will suffer in the same way as Jesus, and we will not be perfect, as He is. The difference is we will not suffer alone, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, He is with us. We are never alone. We are never forsaken. We are never forgotten. Even in the pain, loss, and hurt, we may know, we are not alone. Because of the work of Jesus. Because He suffered alone, we never will.
Because of His hurt, we are never alone, forsaken, or forgetting. His suffering purchased our forgiveness and as Isaiah prophetic, by His wounds, we are healed.
May our hearts break for His suffering. But may we know that because of that we will never suffer alone.
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