The Spirit is Willing

Prayer:  Dear Father, there is so much for me to learn; so much growth that needs to happen in my faith life. I surrender that need for more understanding into Your hands and ask that You please increase my faith. Where I am weak and stridently holding onto my own way, please bring a willingness to let go and allow You to work. Where I am simply confused bring insight and depth of reasoning, that I might love You more completely. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Read: Mark 14:32-42

Think about It: Have you ever fallen asleep at an inappropriate time? Like  geometry class? Or during a movie you really wanted to watch? Or during the sermon on Sunday morning? Your eyes simply will not stay open, no matter how hard you try. You can almost feel your eyes rolling back into your head. You might even be able to hold your head up for a while, but eventually even that begins to bob, signaling to the whole room that you are asleep. It’s a miserable and embarrassing feeling. Imagine yourself with Jesus that night in Gethsemane. Here is your Lord, your Rabbi, going through a terrible struggle, asking you to pray for Him. And what happens – you fall asleep; not once but three times! What a great friend you turned out to be! That’s where Peter, James, and John, Jesus three best friends, find themselves that evening of Jesus’ arrest. Try though they might, they are unable to be with the Lord when He needs them the most. How disappointed they must have been in themselves.

This event stands uniquely among all of the Gospels. It is the one and only time Jesus asked His disciples to pray for Him rather than Him praying for them. This shows us just how difficult this time was for Jesus. He reaches out to those who are far weaker than Himself for assistance. And they fall asleep. There has been quite a bit of speculation as to why they couldn’t stay awake at this difficult time for Jesus. They had probably had a difficult day, were probably confused as to just exactly what was happening with Jesus, they were most certainly frightened, and perhaps even the Holy Spirit helped them to sleep, as Jesus had to walk this path alone. But the text remains silent on this point, so all we have is conjecture. Suffice it to say, Jesus was alone and no one can say he had any help as He carried our sin to the cross.

This all leads us back to the beginning of the week as we discussed the agony of isolation. For Jesus, even the people who were physically present with Him are absent. His isolation is complete. Alone, He carries the burden that is our sin to the cross of Calvary. Alone, He brings salvation into the world, paying the price that the Father’s justice demands. And because He died alone, we get to live with Him forever!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, what a miraculous God You are. Because of Your work on the cross, carried out without anyone’s help, I am saved from the destruction that sin brings into my life. Thank You for saving me from the power my sins have to condemn me and thank You for bringing me to know You and love You. In Your name I pray. Amen.