The ultimate triumph at Calvary first took place beneath the gnarled old olive trees of Gethsemane.
Jesus went to Gethsemane on a number of occasions. It was where He prayed. And next to the crucifixion itself, this time in Gethsemane was probably the loneliest and most difficult moment of Jesus’s earthly life and ministry. There, Jesus underwent stress of cosmic dimensions, the greatest in the chronicles of the universe.
Have you ever felt extremely lonely? Have you ever felt as though you were cut off or abandoned by your friends and family? Or have you ever felt completely misunderstood? If so, then you have a faint idea of what the Lord Jesus went through when He agonized in Gethsemane.
While Jesus contemplated the horrors of the cross, He asked one favor of His disciples Peter, James, and John. He said, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Mark 14:34 NLT).
Jesus didn’t need an explanation or even a sermon. He was simply asking his disciples to stay with Him. Jesus, who was God yet human, experienced intense loneliness.
The Bible says of Him, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testing we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:15–16 NLT).
We need to remember the words above in our moments of loneliness, when we feel that our friends and family have let us down—and sometimes, when we think that even God has let us down. Remember that Jesus has been there and knows what it’s like. He knows you need Him to stay with you, and He always will.
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