In the Garden Alone

Last Sunday I heard a message about Jesus and his ability to identify with my brokenness.
Since I have been experiencing a lot of stress the last few weeks- with challenging assignments due, life decisions to make and a lot of important but forgettable details to hang on to, I was really struck by one particular way that he can identify….

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.  On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”  He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22: 39-46

I’m not comparing my stress with the distress of knowing you are about to die a very slow and painful death you do not deserve.
What I realized, however, is that Jesus does understand the moments I have felt like I was going to have a panic attack, the exhaustion, and the pressure. Not only that, but he experienced this moment of sweating blood alone. Alone. At least in the sense that his friends- the guys he had been through thick and thin with for the past three years- they were all asleep.

It says that an angel appeared from heaven and strengthened him. That sounds crazy, right? But how much crazier is the angel than the God-man dying to save us?

His love is crazy big.
I know that it’s hard to believe this in a world like ours, but imagine, just for a second, that it’s true. Imagine that Jesus not only lived, but he really was God and really did all of that stuff out of love for us. What if the thing you have been waiting for, the overwhelmingly supernatural moment you tell God you need to believe him is as easy as accepting love from another human being.

Oh. Wait. That isn’t easy, either.

 

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