36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:36-39
No one else has ever been able to say these words: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
We become sorrowful and sad when someone betrays us. Our heart hurts at the death of a loved one. We are in anguish when our children fall away from God.
As bad as those events are in our lives – and they can be devastating – nothing compares to the sorry Christ in that garden.
He quite literally had the weight of the world on His shoulders. It’s what He came to earth to do.
I recall going through a mock POW camp in the Air Force. At any point in the training, I could say a few words, the “actors” would confirm I wanted to use those words, and the “games” would be over for me as a participant. Because I was required to go through the training, no one knew what it would mean career-wise to say those words. Sure, the momentary pain would be gone, but being in a brand new career after being trained for 2 years would be a huge blow. No one in my class used that phrase because we knew what it meant. We all, however, had been tempted during those 24 hours to use it.
Jesus, too, had one of those code words. Not sure what it was but He had the power to stop what was coming His way at the snap of his fingers. But He was obeying the will of the Father. He know He had to get through this moment. In the garden is where His battle was being fought, on His knees, pleading with the Father.
That’s the takeaway with this passage. Jesus’ victory was when He was on His knees. I say victory because He prayed and there was no other way for salvation to occur in the Father’s eyes. None. It was an answer to His prayer. Throughout this time, He would experience more agony with His Father but that would be when He was in physical pain as the blood was already flowing.
Can we pray while driving or walking or sitting on a couch? Absolutely.
But making an effort when you’re not doing anything else helps to focus your attention a bit more. It’s also telling God you mean business and are making the time for Him.