Have you ever had your life change in an instant? One minute you’re having a nice dinner, making plans and talking about the future, and the next.. it all changes, and quickly. It’s that moment of epiphany when we suddenly realize we’re not in control of everything after all. Sometimes it leads to confusion, and you’re tired, and you just can’t believe what is happening, but it is. There is an event recorded in all four gospels that is like this.
Gethsemane was a garden in the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. It was known for its olive trees and there are still many olive trees there today. It is also where Jesus often went to pray, but on this one particular night Jesus was visibly upset. His disciples didn’t know what to think when they saw him overcome with grief and emotion. Usually Jesus is comforting them, and now Jesus is asking them to pray. Did they know this would be the last night they would spend with Jesus before he was crucified? They had just finished a nice meal in the Upper Room.
Jesus’ extreme emotion in the Garden was not one of weakness, but of humanity and humility. The result of his coming into this world thirty-three years earlier has now culminated. He would be leaving his disciples alone, knowing what they would face in the coming days and years. Jesus knew what he was about to face as well. It was not just a physical pain and death, but the weight of the world’s sin bearing down on Him.
Yet, after a time of intense prayer and agony in the Garden, Jesus seems to emerge even stronger and in a take-charge way. He tells his disciples, “Are you still sleeping? Get up, let’s go!”
Even in our deepest agonizing times, Jesus tells us the same. He went through it, and He is also saying to us, “Get up, let’s go!”
~ Prayer in the Garden Matthew 26:36-46 ~