Jesus had just revealed that one of His disciples would betray Him (Mark 14:17-21) and now things turn more sorrowful as Jesus also prophesies that all of His disciples will abandon Him (14:27). Peter is quick to speak up and declares, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be” (14:29). I believe Peter really thought he could withstand any opposition, but Jesus knew otherwise and Jesus said to Peter, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times” (14:30). Becoming more adamant about his loyalty to Jesus, Peter declared “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” All of the disciples agreed with Peter and confessed their wholehearted commitment to Christ (14:31). Little did they know that in just a few shorts hours, Jesus words would become true.
The disciples and Jesus arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus enters in to pray. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him inside the garden where “He began to be troubled and deeply distressed” (14:33). Jesus walks a little further into the garden, falls down, and “prayed that if were possible, the hour might pass from Him.” Jesus goes on to pray, “Abba [means daddy], Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (14:36). Jesus knew that His death was required to satisfy the wrath of God upon sin. But, He also felt the tremendous weight of all of man’s sin upon Himself and was asking God if there was any other way to forgive sin. Although this mission was a heavy one to bear, Jesus prayed that God’s will would be accomplished even if that meant He had to die.
After feeling this burden, Jesus finds Peter, James, and John sleeping so He calls out and warns them to stay alert (14:37). The disciples did not understand what was about to happen and were not aware of the spiritual attack which was getting ready to take place. Instead of sleeping, they should have been praying for strength. Jesus goes away again to pray but when He returns the disciples are asleep (14:39-40). A third time Jesus goes to pray and returns to find them asleep (14:41). This time Jesus says, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand” (14:41-42). This event should be a warning to every believer who feels strong enough to withstand the spiritual battles which take place around us each day. Like the disciples, we feel as if we would do anything for the sake of Christ; however, most of us are too weak without even knowing it. We need God’s power upon our lives in order to stand up against the forces of evil and prayer is the weapon which provides the strength to endure these times of temptation and trial. May God help all of us to seek His strength through prayer so we can accomplish His will for daily life.
Dear God, give me Your strength today. I cannot do life without You.