The struggles of life and the battles of this world are difficult. The amazing thing is that Jesus is well aware of it and shows us how to walk through them. Shows us how to overcome a bad week. How to overcome pain.
It is the last week of Jesus life, and it is Thursday. Jesus is showing how to overcome an impossible situation.
Jesus knows what He is about face, and it is laying heavy on him. He knows He is going to be punched, whipped, and kicked. He will be forced to wear a crown of thorns and nailed to the cross, a spear thrown in His side and death. It will be an incredibly painful death.
This is an overwhelming situation. Just a few hours earlier, He sat with his 12 as they shared the last supper. He sat with the one who would doubt him (Thomas), the one who would deny him (Peter) and the one who would betray him (Judas). Judas is now gone looking to betray him.
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.
He is in His final hour. His final battle and how does He handle it? Does He lecture? Does He defend Himself? Does He accuse; does He try to get people to take His side? He knows the lies that are going to be told. He knows how it is going to be twisted. What does He do?
He prays. Who does he pray for?
Overcome Pain – Pray for Others
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
In Jesus’ darkest hour, in His most desperate time, He prays for us. “I pray also for those who will believe in me.”
You were on Jesus’ mind in the Garden of Gethsemane. During the most difficult task He had to do, He was thinking of you.
He wasn’t thinking about the one who would betray Him. He wasn’t thinking about the ones who would beat Him. He wasn’t thinking about the ones who would lie about Him. He wasn’t thinking about the ones who would mock him.
You were on His mind. He prayed for you.
In our darkest times, do we pray? Do we pray for others? Do we think of others and what they are facing?
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.”
Never had He felt so alone. What had to be done only He could do. The angels didn’t have the strength and man didn’t have the purity to destroy sin. No force on earth could face the force of evil and win – except God.
He is hurting. His humanity is there. God, can you take this from me? Is there a way out? Is there another way? Is there a clause we have missed?
Jesus understands the pain of everything falling apart. He understands the stress of life not going the way you hoped. He understands being alone. He understands so desperately wanting to hear a yes to our prayer and receiving a no.
Overcome Pain – See Others
He could have called down angels. He had the power and authority where death would not harm Him. Where people would not be able to touch Him. Where He could have turned everyone deaf, dumb and blind. But He didn’t. Why?
Because He saw you. Right there in the middle of the world that was not fair, He saw you.
He saw you in your garden of Gethsemane, and He didn’t want you to be alone as He was alone.
40 Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” He asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When He came back, He again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
He wanted us to know that He has been there too. He knows what it is like to be plotted against. He knows what it is like to be torn between two desires. He knows what it is like to smell the stench of Satan. And perhaps most of all, He knows what it’s like to beg God to change his mind and to hear God so gently, but firmly, say no.
I always thought the battle was won at Golgotha or at the empty tomb. Max Lucado said it was won in the Garden. Jesus was at peace in the garden, knowing that the no was the correct answer. He submitted to the will of the Father and had peace.
I love this quote: “He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.”
Jesus knew the no brought a much more victorious outcome than the yes.
As we face our trials and difficult times, do we think we are alone? We aren’t. We have never been alone. That pain we feel? He knows it all so well.
Pray. I know it seems simple. Pray. For where we are at, He has been. After His prayer, the world has never been the same since.
Want to overcome a bad week, to overcome pain? Pray.
Oh, how He loves us.