Read Matthew 26:36-44
THE BEST PICTURE OF TOUGH TIMES
Key Verse: “Then he said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me” (Verse 38).
The experiences of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane depict what though times means. The garden was called Gethsemane because it was an “oil press”, a place where probably oil was pressed out from olive trees. A garden is normally a place of calmness, ease, and relaxation, but ironically for Jesus, it was a place of much agony, tension, and suffering. The words “oil press” indicate how painful tough times could be.
Jesus went to this garden with three of his closest aides, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, but it is doubtful if they were of any help to him during his most trying times. Peter was soon to deny him, and the two sons of Zebedee were to follow suit to abandon Jesus with all the other disciples (Mt.26:56).
At the garden, Jesus “began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.” Then he said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me” (Matthew 26:38 NKJV). None of his disciples could appreciate the degree of sorrow which he bore at this time. Thrice, he went out to pray to ask his Father to take away the cup of suffering from him, if it was his will. Luke 22:44 states that as Jesus prayed, drops of blood fell from his brow. This suggests the extreme anguish or physical strain he felt at that hour.
Each time, when he returned from his prayer, he met the disciples sleeping. The irony was that while Jesus went through the pain and agony of the impending cross, he met his disciples sleeping away, unmindful of the agony he faced.
Ironically, despite his prayers at Gethsemane, Jesus still went to the cross. The cross was inevitable for him. The cross was inevitable because of you and me. At the cross, he fought and won the victories we now enjoy.
PRAYER: Lord, make me feel, even for a moment, the burden of what you went through for my sake, at the Garden of Gethsemane.