Gethsemane was the beginning of a lonely road. Up until this point, Jesus had ministered in the company of his closest companions. He had deep friendships with these men. Men who had left their lives to follow Him; what a bond! I imagine Jesus had an earthly home dwelling in those relationships…. his twelve best buds.
Deeply sorrowful and troubled, Jesus shares with the closest of his guys what is going on, and what he needs from them. Jesus knew He was nearing the point of His purpose. But this sacrifice was a heavy one.
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” – Matthew 26:38
I hear His heart saying…this hurts. This incredibly heavy thing I’m about to do is no joke, guys. Stay with me; watch for me. I need you just to stay awake right now – that’s all. He had asked this one thing of them in his grief.
Face to ground, Jesus prays the anguish of his heart to His Father. Three times Jesus asks for another way around the intensity of the cross, but each time acknowledges the will of His Trusted Lord be done.
After every session of prayer, God in the flesh returns to find some snoozing dudes.
Jesus was about to make the biggest sacrifice for them, and in return, they could not keep their eyes open?! The one thing He needed from them, they did not consider important enough for which to stay awake. Ouch.
Friends- there may come a time in your journey with God that your obedience is not fully supported or understood by those you love. There may be a time where it is lonely, and those you have walked the most closely beside don’t get it. They aren’t fully in. But sweetie, even Jesus walked that road before you. He made the journey first so that you would not have to alone.
Sadly, this was the least offense that his besties would bring. Betrayal followed their lackadaisical choice to rest, and Jesus was alone in His suffering. The beauty, though, darling? The beauty in that lazy, unconcerned betrayal was Jesus’ choice to go anyway. To die anyway. To lay down His feelings of hurt and loneliness, and sacrifice himself fully for each turned back. Their turned backs… your turned back… my turned back.
So when we come to these places in our journey of hurt, loneliness, or betrayal we look to the One who went before us and never leaves us alone there. Paid in full, precious. Yours, mine, and theirs. So what do we do in the trial? We go anyway. There are many going with you, even if at a distance.