There is one instance when Jesus asked His disciples for comfort, for friendship, and for support. It’s found in Matthew 26, Luke 22 and Mark 14. I’ve included all 3 accounts so that you can read it all in one place. I could write all day about the significance of this event just before Jesus was mocked, tortured and crucified, taking our place of judgment for sin and setting us free from it. But here are a few observations as you read…
Like I’ve already mentioned, Jesus needed his friends in one of the hardest moment of His time on earth. He was deeply depressed, grieved, in agony, struck with terror, etc. Those are incredibly intense emotions! Luke’s account says He was so stressed with agony, that His sweat was filled with blood. The intensity was so great that those small capillaries in the head most likely broke. He was so grieved that it almost killed Him right then. His sufferings began in this garden, even before the scourging and the cross itself.
I believe the Holy Spirit showed us 3 separate accounts of this event to show us how utterly sinful sin really was and is. This was not easy for Jesus and He was God Himself but also perfectly human. He was suffering on our behalf all the emotions of life in an almost compressed period of time. Mark says He fell to the ground! Heaviness can make one just fall down. No one on this earth except Jesus ever felt the weight of dying for the sin of another.
Imagine how alone Jesus must have felt in this moment of time. He alone knows what was coming in the next hours of His earthly life. He longed for support from those He had been with for 3 years. They can’t stay awake with Him. Luke says that they also were grieved and that’s why they slept. I can only imagine the swirl of emotions taking place in Jesus and His disciples. The wonderful aspect of all this is that no matter how one is “feeling” in any given moment, that feeling is not your faith. Jesus struggled for a short time with what He knew He was asked to do because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” John 3:16. Despite knowing all He would experience, all the pain, the ripping of His flesh, the blood poured out, and the agony of being separated from the Father so that payment for our sins would be complete, finished, He still went through with it! So no matter how you feel today or tomorrow, those feelings are not what God sees as your faith. Faith trusts God no matter how you feel and goes ahead and does the thing set before you. No wonder the Spirit included this rare close-up view of Jesus and His emotions and feelings! We need to understand He knows fully what we go through in this life we live. He alone knows the struggle is real and that often our feelings can draw us away from God rather than run into His lap for safety. If you believe that God is judging you because you feel this way or that way, it will make you run away from God. God is never judging you for how you feel. In fact, God judged every single thing about man in Christ on the cross so we need never again fear God’s judgment!
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed. Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me. And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were weighed down with sleep. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of especially wicked sinners [whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!” Matthew 26:36-46 (Amplified)
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed, Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground. And when He got up from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from grief, And He said to them, Why do you sleep? Get up and pray that you may not enter [at all] into temptation.” Luke 22:41-46
“Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, Sit down here while I pray. And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled and depressed. And He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad (overwhelmed with grief) so that it almost kills Me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching. And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [fatal] hour might pass from Him. And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will]. And He came back and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Have you not the strength to keep awake and watch [with Me for] one hour? Keep awake and watch and pray [constantly], that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again and prayed, saying the same words. And again He came back and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what answer to give Him. And He came back a third time and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough [of that]! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men (men whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God). Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!” Mark 14:32-42
So whatever our feelings right now, run towards your Abba-Father! Be honest with Him because He already knows just how you feel. Cry out to Him, pour out your heart in every way you can. It’s in your time of brokenness that He is perhaps even closer to you than you can imagine! Receive His comfort, His assistance (He will never sleep when you need Him!), His help, His deliverance. And know He does not condemn you for how you feel, regardless if you condemn yourself. 1 John 3:19-20 states, “By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].”
Your Redeemer lives right now and sees all you are going through. Tell it to Him. He loves it when you confide (trust) in Him. Allow Him to minister to you and provide for all your needs today!