Mark 14:32-42 ESV
John 18:3-7 ESV
The Gospel of Mark often seems to tell a story that is gutsy and real. As difficult as it is to think of how much Jesus suffered in the hours leading up to His arrest, it’s also helpful for us to understand and remember that even though Jesus was God, He was also fully human.
Jesus knew He was about to suffer cruel pain in the hours leading up to the cross. He knew what crucifixion meant.
Roman Crucifixion was a very painful and often was a very slow way to die.
Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark tell us Jesus was fully aware what he would suffer in the hours before and during crucifixion. We learn in Mark 14:35-36, “And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
In the Gospel of Mark we notice that Jesus was praying and suffering so much that he fell on the ground and He pleaded that God the Father would let this cruel torture and death pass from Him. In the same breath, He stated His complete and total belief that He knew that everything was possible with God.
Jesus KNEW that.
Jesus WAS present when the world was formed.
But Jesus also knew that what He was about to do would change how almost every person interacted with God going forward.
That’s why He left the decision up to God.
While we have not suffered torture and a cruel death of crucifixion, many of us have come to a point in life where we ask God for mercy. We ask that we will not suffer more than we can bear. I know when I came to that point, I asked God to give me what I needed to survive.
I tend to think at that point Jesus knew that God would give Him the strength He needed to accomplish God’s will for mankind. Jesus knew it would be the most difficult think He’d done as a human, but He also knew God would provide what He needed.
Following Jesus’ prayer to God the Father, we read in Mark 14:37-42 that Jesus, “came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Three times Jesus went to His disciples asking they to arise and pray.
We are not told that they woke up and even attempted to pray.
We are not told they attempted to apologize.
We do not know if they even felt remorse.
We do know that Jesus forgave them. He forgave them for failing Him in His hour of need.
In the Gospel of John in 18:3-7, we are told that His accusers arrived. “So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Judas who had lived with Jesus day and night for three years, arrived with everyone needed to arrest Jesus. He came with soldiers, officers of the Chief Priests from the Temple, and Pharisees who opposed Jesus.
Jesus did not make any attempt to oppose them. He stepped forward and told them He was the ONE they were looking for.
When Jesus answered and told them He was the one, they all immediately fell to the ground.
That would have been quite a sight.
With three words, “I am He”, Judas, all of the soldiers, the officers with the Chief Priests, the Chief Priests, and the Pharisees ALL tumbled to the ground.
You’d have thought that would have given them a clue.
Scripture doesn’t tell us but apparently they just didn’t ‘get it’.
This IS the Son of God.
This man IS God.
He is everything He proclaimed He was, and more.
Even though He healed and brought to earth everything good, they opposed Him.
The truth is, they opposed Him for a ridiculous reason.
Jesus came to save man and that would change their world.
They didn’t want their world to change.
They wanted everything to remain the same.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Let God Change You
Give God permission to change you today.
In God, Deborah