'Day One' Blog

Jesus, Sorrowful Even to Death – March 16, ’20


(Each Lent entry will give us a few days to ponder and sit with the Lord surrounding the scripture passages provided. The paragraphs following the passages are intended to give some guidance as we draw into the presence of God and dialogue with Him.)


Meditation for the Soul ~

Then Jesus went with them
to a place called Gethsemane,
and He said to his disciples,
“Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
He began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Then He said to them,
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death;
remain here, and watch with me.”
And going a little farther
He fell on his face and prayed, saying,
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’
And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping.
And He said to Peter,
“So, could you not watch with me one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed,
“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it,
Your will be done.’
And again He came and found them sleeping,
for their eyes were heavy.
So, leaving them again, He went away
and prayed for the third time,
saying the same words again.
Then He came to the disciples and said to them,
“Sleep and take your rest later on.
See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man
is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand. ”
Matthew 26:36-46
(see also Mark 14:32-41; Luke 22:39-46)


Reflection for the Mind ~

The garden of Gethsemane was ground central for a few of the most critical hours in all of history. After the comprehensive instructions and care given by Jesus to His disciples, Jesus drew away to pray, becoming profoundly distressed. Judas Iscariot was carrying out his betrayal, and Jesus’ arrest was impending.

Jesus’ confession of the depth of His suffering to His closest friends is striking. I wonder how they dealt with His extreme vulnerability with them. There isn’t one recorded word that tells us they were able to provide consolation. They were in their own distress, likely trying to process the words Jesus had been speaking to them. The gospel of Luke tells us they actually fell asleep “from sorrow,” (Luke 22:45). The hours passed with Jesus moving between the location of His friends and His place of prayer; all the while experiencing the escalation of His own sorrow.

I marvel that while Jesus was enduring this level of anguish, He still managed to be the friend, teacher, caregiver and comforter to His inner-circle. He prevailed in His own battle where His friends failed in theirs, even with Jesus’ frequent cautioning. I sympathize with the disciples in the garden, glad it was not me asked to watch and pray. I would have failed Him too.

For me, those few hours in the garden are the most heart-wrenching in all of scripture. The physiological suffering Jesus bore would have been the death of anyone else. Can you fathom enduring anguish even to death and remaining submitted to the will of God? Can you imagine pleading with the Father for another way to fulfill your mission, under that level of duress, but not losing your resolve to honor God? There has never been anyone like Jesus! Not ever!


Response for the Heart ~

Praise You, my suffering Savior. It is beyond me to understand the depths of what You endured in Gethsemane. As I picture You in prayer that evening, I’m blown away that while there was space for Your honest pleas to the Father, there was no space within You to move against His will. There is truly no one like You. And now Lord, speak to me. What do You want me to know about those hours in Gethsemane? Teach me now as I meditate on Your Word. ~ Amen

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2 Comments

  • Len

    1

    What a beautiful devotional! I pray that I could have and endure a fraction of the sufferings and anguish that Christ endured for us! His love for us is beyond human comprehension! Thank you Anne

    • Anne Barbour

      2

      Thank YOU, Len. I'm overwhelmed by the beauty and strength of Jesus!

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