I’ve written before about how sometimes I can feel alone. Re-reading a chapter in Lucado’s book tonight that talked about the Thursday night before Jesus’ death. He has a last meal with his disciples. A meal where he takes on the servant role and washes his disciples feet. After this he takes them to the Garden of Gethsemene and he asks them to pray with him.
These are agonizing moments for Jesus. The beauty of our Savior is that he was fully God and fully human. So he knows what he must do, but his human side quakes with fear. He literally sweats blood. He asks his Father to take the cup of suffering away from him. And yet in the end he says “not my will but your will be done.” And what does he find the disciples doing while he’s praying with all of his strength? They have fallen asleep. All Jesus wanted was to not be alone in those moments, and they couldn’t stay awake. He is not angry at them though. He understands their weariness. But understanding it doesn’t change what Jesus is going through. Lucado’s words are better than mine.
“He knew that before victory would come defeat. He knew that before the throne would come the cup. He knew that before the light of Sunday would come the darkness of Friday.”
And through all this the disciples sleep on. What is Jesus’ response? It’s to pray for them. In his last moments with his disciples he prays for them. He prays for us! Lucado quotes Jesus’ words from the book of Matthew. ” I pray for these men. But I am also praying for all people who will believe in me because of the teachings of these men. Father, I pray that all people who believe in me can be one…I pray that these people can also be one in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”
Does this blow your mind? Cause it blows mine. Jesus in his last moments alone before the humiliation of his trial and death begins is praying for ME. His thoughts are consumed with me! To paraphrase a sentence Lucado says; as His final prayer was about ME. His final pain was for ME. His final passion was for ME! I want to always be blown away by this thought. I don’t ever want to take that thought for granted.
Jesus struggled with having to die. He was afraid. He asked his Father to provide another way. But God said no. And Jesus accepted it with peace in his heart. One more quote from Lucado: “The battle is won. You may have thought it was won on Golgotha. It wasn’t. You may have thought the sign of victory is the empty tomb. It isn’t. The final battle was won in Gethsemane. And the sign of conquest is Jesus at peace in the olive trees. For it was in the garden that he made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.”
Tomorrow I’ll be on a plane. I’m very excited to see my family for a week but I am sad to miss going to church on Good Friday. But tomorrow on the plane I’m going to think about that above paragraph. And I’m going to thank Jesus for being so unselfish to think of me in his last moments on earth.
Thank you. So much.