Sometimes we are to familiar with a story of the bible that it doesn’t resound with us the way it should. How many times we hear the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, and it still may touch us, but does it move us? Do we really take the time to ponder what was going on? What was Jesus feeling? What was racing through His mind the night before His death. I read a verse the other day that moved me.
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane getting ready to pray. Jesus having full knowledge of what was about to happen to Him turns to a couple of His followers and says “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death;” Matt 26:38a esv. I think sometimes we forget that Jesus, being fully God was also fully man. He felt anxiety, pain, he had fear, Jesus fully aware of the verses in Isa 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
Jesus knew what lay ahead, the lashes to the back, the punches to the face, the mockery, the ridicule, the cross, the wrath of God, all await him. He was sorrowful unto death. Sweat of blood poured down His brow as He pleaded to the Father that there be some other way. Multiple times He begs the Father to have the wrath of our sin be resolved some other way. But there was none. Jesus finally concedes to the Father with, “Not my will, but yours be done”.
He not only had to bear the cross, but the sin of the world was about to be on His shoulders and for the first time ever He and the Father will be separated. And He did it willingly, no one forced Him, He did it out of love for me and for you. en the Roman gaurds came to the garden to arrest Him, He does not fight back but rather walks up to them and offers Himself to them. One of the disciples however is not as willing and lashes out against the Roman guard as Jesus replies to him “Do you thing that I cannot appeal to my Father and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” Matt.26:53-4 Jesus could have stopped the pain, could have taken the easy way out and wiped out all his enemies. Instead He gave Himself up even to death, and death on a cross.
Sometimes we view God afar off, some great mystery in the sky. A God who is powerful and mighty, who sits and judges us. We forget that this God is a personal God, who took on the form of a man who walked among us. Has felt our pains, knows our temptations, understands our griefs. We read in Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
If you ever think that God doesn’t understand what you are going through, doesn’t understand your pain, your sadness, your anxiety, your temptations. Just remember Him in the Garden agonizing over His death sweating blood, who was sorrowful even to death and rest assured He knows. He then bids us to come to him in pray and He will give mercy the way only a loving Savior knows how.