32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
This passage reminds me of how much Jesus suffered not just on the cross but in the times leading up to His arrest, His trial, His beating, the mocking and then the crucifixion. It also reminds me of what is it to be a friend. He knew what lay ahead – He was the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the world. He knew He was born to die. He knew He would be separated from His Father and bear the sin of the world. Yet His words are “Yet I want your will not mine.”
There are moments in our life when we also are required to take up our cross and follow Jesus….even unto death. So often we cry out in times of difficulty, darkness or despair…why me, this isn’t fair, if only this…..and yet the Bible tells us there will be times of suffering or trouble, persecution and difficulty.
Help us and teach us to pray at these times: Help me Lord to be a witness of you and your grace in no matter what the season is that I am in. Help me Lord to cry out to you….yet I want your will not mine.
What is a good friend: Jesus needed 3 friends to go with Him at this dark time in His life and they heard Him cry out in horror and anguish. Ask yourself – Who is walking with me? Who is able to hear me cry out in anguish, horror and deep distress at times? If Jesus needed friends to be with Him at these times; how much more do we need people to walk with us in our darkest moments.
Help us and teach us to pray at these times: Lord help me to be a good friend to others at times like this. Help me to listen and care. Lord bring others around me when I journey through my dark times. Teach me Lord how to be a good friend. Help me Lord to be a good friend. Help me to be diligent, alert and pray always.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta