Jesus Prays in Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-46)
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 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.”
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away[a] unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
This week my heart has been in a very troubled place. An assistant pastor who started a program for mental health awareness committed suicide a few days after posting about Suicide awareness himself and urging people to get help.
This broke me down because a few days ago I shared about my first introduction to suicide and how death can affect everyone closely related or not related at all.
In my sorrow, I cried out to Jesus and asked “why?”. ” Lord please help me understand where you are when this happens. When people are crying out and they have no relief”. Once I prayed some more and felt myself become somewhat okay again I went on about my day not thinking anything else about what I had asked.
That was until I came to bible study and while my Pastor was discussing another chapter, I came across the chapter above.
And at that moment Jesus reminded me what I had asked and prayed for him to reveal to me.
We focus on so much in the bible and meditate on his word heavily but sometimes it takes certain circumstances to really help enlighten what we’ve read.
As I reread the chapter above my eyes filled up with tears as I realized what Jesus had experienced right before his own death.
At that moment in the garden, where new life was being created and buried at the same time, Jesus experienced grief. His grief was so extreme that he described it as being ” soul-crushing to the point of death” .He even went further and asked his friends to stay and keep watch with him, he was asking those around him for help.
As he prayed to find comfort he returned back to his friends only to find they were sleep and hadn’t done what he had asked him to do.
Could you imagine that pain?
Feeling hopeless, asking those who know you better than anyone to pray for you, to help you, and you find them sleeping, uninterested and basically unconcerned?
My friends, I imagine that’s what depression feels like. Feeling like your surrounded by a bunch of people but no one understands the hurt you feel inside. Feeling alone although you aren’t alone and you are loved but feeling like you aren’t in that moment.
I may get crucified for this but I believe that even when someone feels hopeless to the point of committing suicide, Jesus is there and he understands. Why do I feel that? because the verse above lets us know that he felt that.
And when you feel something you become connected to it, and where you are connected you can extend grace.
In my own individual walk, I don’t judge any place that I never been but I offer grace. The same grace Jesus offered to me and any other soul that may be lost.
As hard as it may be to understand or believe if you are suffering on today, Jesus does understand and he does care. He has been there and he’s still there, waiting for you with open arms and a shoulder for you to lean on.
Jesus knows what it’s like to not have anyone and in return he never wants us to feel that way. Lean on him today, I promise he can and he will lighten the load.