33 He took Peter, James and John along with him. He began to be very upset and troubled. 34 “My soul is very sad. I feel close to death,” he said to them. “Stay here. Keep watch.” 35 He went a little farther. Then he fell to the ground. He prayed that, if possible, the hour might pass by him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. But let what you want be done, not what I want.” 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. Then you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Once more Jesus went away and prayed the same thing. 40 Then he came back. Again he found them sleeping. They couldn’t keep their eyes open. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Jesus returned the third time. He said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look! The Son of Man is about to be handed over to sinners.
Being abandoned – is such a powerful image here. Jesus Christ – the beloved Son of the Father – as He nears death – cries out… “God, God…why have you abandoned me?” It resonates within me – I know this feeling – of being alone…of facing circumstances that overwhelm and overpower me, of feeling l have been abandoned. In this moment when Jesus identified himself with the sin of the world – The Father was absent. Jesus did this, experienced this, suffered this – for me, for us.
As I ponder this passage today I am moved by the fresh reminder that Jesus has faced everything and anything I have or will ever face … I am overwhelmed by the reality of God’s love for me.
The words of Chris Tomlin’s Song At the Cross are a prayer declaring truth for me today…
Thank you so much Jesus for loving me this much…
There’s a place where mercy reigns and never dies,
There’s a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide.
Where all the love I’ve ever found, Comes like a flood, Comes flowing down.
At the cross At the cross
I surrender my life. I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You Where Your love ran red and my sin washed white.
I owe all to You, I owe all to You Jesus.
There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless.
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness.
Where all the love I’ve ever found. Comes like a flood, Comes flowing down.
Here my hope is found Here on holy ground
Here I bow down Here arms open wide
Here You save my life Here I bow down Here I bow down
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn