As Jesus led His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane for the last time His mind was burdened by the unseen battle waging around and within Him. While the disciples knew something troubled their Master, they were clueless regarding the severity of the conflict. Jesus had tried to tell them—to strengthen them for what was coming on that final preparation day before He would find rest in a borrowed tomb.
“Watch with Me,” He instructed them as He went deeper into the Garden to pray. Falling to the ground Jesus agonizes with His Father. As He senses His Father withdrawing His presence, Jesus clutches the ground as if to hold onto Him. This separation is more than He can bear.
In desperation He rises to go to His friends. His humanity needs the assurance of their prayers. But He finds them asleep. Now He says, “Watch and pray with Me!”
I’ve often wondered about the instruction “to watch.” What did Jesus mean by it? Was He saying, “Watch Me while I pray?” The Merriam-Webster definition of watch means to “be attentive or vigilant.” If they ever needed to pay attention—now was the time!
If they’d been vigilant, they’d have known what was really going on in the Garden. They’d have been acutely aware of their inability to remain watchful in their own strength. If they’d been watching it would have led them to pray.
But they didn’t watch. They fell asleep. And when Jesus comes looking for them, He urges them “to watch and pray!”
They’d forgotten Jesus’ story of the ten sleepy bridesmaids. Twelve sleepy men – in real time – fell asleep in spite of seeing their Master gripped by an unearthly agony. We don’t see the suffering Savior literally in front of us as the disciples were privileged to have seen. But we would have done exactly as they did. We do it now.
As we draw near to the Easter weekend, let us not miss any opportunity to ponder anew the unmatched sacrifice made for us. What would happen if we obeyed Christ’s imperative “to watch and pray”? What differences would be seen in our lives if we took to heart His words, “Do you plan on sleeping and resting indefinitely? That’s enough sleep! The end has come and the hour has arrived. . . . Get up and let’s go!” (Mark 14:41, 42) TPT.
The hour is now. The end is almost here. Let’s wake up. Pay attention and pray. For once we do—we will “get up and go” into the highways and byways, and with a spirit of deepest urgency we will invite everyone to ready themselves to go Home.
PC: Pixabay, Saydung89