Since we all will face death of this temporary tent we live in at some point, it would seem we should look to the last 16 hours or so of Jesus life and see what we can learn as Jesus approached death. It seems like a good place to start would be in the Garden of Gethsemane …
As he goes to pray, Jesus tells the disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” (NIV) One definition of sorrow is an emotion of great sadness associated with loss or bereavement while overwhelmed is defined as becoming filled with uncontrollable emotion.
I can oh-so-relate and suddenly this passage comes to mind …
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
So to be overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death does not reveal some failure on our part as a Christian … it reveals our humanity … one in which Jesus experienced our weaknesses.
Three times Jesus prayed the following in the Garden, “Abba Father (Daddy), if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.” (NIV)
I can oh-so-relate to that prayer.
And His Abba Father knowing His Son needed to be strengthened …
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.”
For Scripture to indicate Jesus needed to be strengthened suggest that as he approached death he felt some sense or degree of weakness and needed the strength that only His Father in heaven could provide… something I can oh-so-relate to …
Also recorded in the NIV of Jesus time in the Garden of Gethsemane …
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Anguish is defined as being in extreme distress of body and/or mind. Oh my Lord and Savior, I can oh-so-relate to that. And Jesus prayed His prayer even more earnestly, or in a more serious heartfelt manner … something I can also oh-so-relate to.
Now while I have wept and shed cups of tears, I honestly cannot say that my sweat is like drops of blood in the midst f my prayers. What great intensity he must of lifted His prayer to His Abba Father!!!
I have notes suggesting these is even more to be written about how Jesus approached death … but this seems like a good stopping point for this morning.
Oh Lord, it is so comforting to know that as you approached death, you experienced so many of the emotions and weaknesses that I am experiencing, that our prayers sound so similar. And to know that our Abba Fathers strengthened you in the midst to walk obediently in His will is such a comfort and assurance to me. May my response be a reflection of what you modeled for all of us as you approached death.
IN Jesus name … Amen!