THURSDAY MARCH 24, 2016
Then they came to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Stay here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
After walking a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. He said, “Abba! Father! You can do anything. Take this cup [of suffering] away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine.” He went back and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake for one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.”
He went away again and prayed the same prayer as before. He found them asleep because they couldn’t keep their eyes open. They didn’t even know what they should say to him. He came back a third time and said to them, “You might as well sleep now. It’s all over. The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. Get up! Let’s go! The one who is betraying me is near.” Mark 14:32-42.
Have you ever been so tired that you just couldn’t keep your eyes open? The disciples were just that tired. The emotional roller coaster of that week had wiped them out. Yes, they heard the sound of Jesus’ voice, they saw the anguish in His face. Even the text is clear, He tells His closest friends, I am overwhelmed with sorrow. But all they could do was fall asleep, not once, not twice, but three times. They were exhausted and they must have disappointed Jesus deeply. Here He was, about to take on the weight of the sin of the world, and His friends, His earthly support system, falls asleep.
Beloved, I am willing to bet at some point this week, maybe today, you and I will be deeply disappointing to Jesus. But hear the good news, our behavior does not change His. His love for us remains. His love allows Him to take on our sin and to die under its weight. No matter what your day, week, or life has held, there is a Savior who stands near, knows you by name, and loves you fiercely, awake or asleep.