When I picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, my mind goes to the classic painting I saw as a kid. There was Jesus, leaning over a rock, white robe, hands folded in prayer, a look of serenity on his face, and a halo over his head. But when we read the account of this dark night in the gospel of Mark, we read these phrases:
“Horror and dismay came over him,” “My heart is so heavy; I feel as if I could die,” and, “He walked on a little farther. Then He threw Himself on the ground and prayed for deliverance from what was about to come.” (Mark 14:32-42 VOICE).
Mark seemed to capture the deep emotion- along with the humanity of Jesus, as he described this scene. We see an agonizing, straining, and struggling Jesus. We see a “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3 NASB). We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief. We see Jesus in the pain of a broken heart- doubled over in anguish as He about to face unbounded physical torture.
This pain is driven even deeper as the scope of what’s to come settles in. Jesus knew that He would experience an isolation like never before, as His Father would turn His face away when He took on the depravity and sins of the world.
The Bible tells us that Jesus pleaded with God multiple times for this cup to be taken away from Him, but yet, He fully surrendered to God’s will. This is a moment of great importance.
“It’s here that we see the human and the Divine come together in one of the greatest acts of love and obedience.” ~ Susan Narjala
“He that knew no sin would become sin so that we might be the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Immeasurable grace. Undeserved favor.
Have you ever struggled with fear, wrestled with commitments and longed for relief? How does knowing Jesus deeply felt these same emotions make you feel?
What’s your response to Jesus’ obedience, humility and surrender?
The next time you are called to suffer, lean in and remember the garden. It may be the closest you’ll ever get to God.