One of the most moving stories for me is when Jesus was about to be arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. This account takes me apart every single time and it changes the way I worship.
Jesus knew that the time was coming for him to be arrested. He takes himself to a quiet place to pray and asks his disciples to pray and keep watch with him, but they kept falling asleep. I imagine in Jesus’ distress, he had never felt more alone.
It says in the Bible that Jesus was so overwhelmed by sorrow that he was at the point of death. Have you ever been so overwhelmed in distress and sadness that you felt like this?
Matthew 26:39 He prays to his Father three times saying;
“My father. If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.
not as I will, but as you will”.
The desperation in Christ’s voice can be heard and felt through these pages.
And God does not respond.
I imagine that God was in so much pain as He watched His son in the garden that He couldn’t muster up the strength to answer; “No, my son. It has to be this way. I cannot let this cup pass from you”.
And so He turned his face away instead.
God needed Christ to drink the full cup of death so that WE could be reconciled to Him.
Jesus must have felt so incredibly alone that night. The dread he must have experienced as he waited for his betrayer to come for him. The distress he must have felt at having his friends fall asleep while he struggled alone through anxiety. The ache he must have felt when he cried out to his dad three times, “please, if there is any way please, take this cup from me” and got no response. This must have been a terrifying place to be.
We can see the sacrifice that both God and Christ made that night. God said it has to be this way – death. And Christ, having understood that the cup could not be taken away, took it with both hands and drank it. All of it.
He could have changed his mind and had angels surround him immediately to defend him, yet he says; “how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”
When I read this story, I feel a mix of incredible emotions. I feel so sad that I could cry. And I do. I feel like I can’t actually talk to God. I did this. I am the reason God had to have His son drink this cup.
But I also feel an easy garment of grace put upon my shoulders.
What a huge sacrifice was made for me.
The most touching of all is when Judas came to betray Jesus, Jesus quietly says to him;
“Friend, do what you came for”.
In this moment, Jesus calls his betrayer friend. He still views Judas as a friend and has no bitterness towards him. Judas is still accepted and loved even in this very moment.
This tells me there is peace between God and I.
Christ still sees me as friend.
By Samantha Schreiner