Mark 14:3-9 (NIVUK)
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ he said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 ‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’
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 so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’
On Sunday we thought about the Last Supper a little, so I thought that today we could instead look at what happened afterwards. Jesus has somehow managed to keep it all together during the meal, even though he knew that he was going to be betrayed, and even though he knew ‘the end’ was close. It is no surprise, however, that with these building emotions and decreasing energy levels after the party was over, that it all became too much. Most of us would have cracked earlier I’m sure. It’s almost overwhelming, and you can feel that he’s teetering on the edge of giving up on his mission. ‘Father, I don’t want to do this! Is there another way?’ But by the end of the passage, you feel something has moved, and he is revitalised, ‘Rise!Let us go!’ In that dark moment, God has met him in his prayers, as he shared his fears with him.
Thank you Jesus, that you kept on going for us, even when it was too much.