Jesus and his disciples went up to the Mount of Olives. When they arrived, Jesus told them, “Pray that you do not fall into temptation.” Then He left them to go pray to the Father. He was going to pray about what He knew was coming: his death. He prayed, “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done.”
An angel came and strengthened Him. He was in such agony, his sweat was filled with blood.
When he returned to his disciples, they were sleeping, exhausted from sorrow.
“Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
So let me explain this the way I read it this morning…
Jesus and his disciples go up to the Mount of Olives. He gives them instructions on what to do. Then He leaves them. Instead of obeying his directions, they go to sleep because they are sad. Meanwhile, Jesus is praying, pleading with God because of His love for those sad, sleeping disciples. He’s in agony, sweating drops of blood, needing to be strengthened by an angel, because of His love for those sad, sleeping disciples. And He’s God, so He knows they are back there sleeping and not doing what he said. But he’s praying. for them. He’s going to die for them. What kind of loves it that? Unconditional!
So He finishes pleading with God, going through the agony, sweating drops of blood (all because of His love for his people), and he returns to his sad, sleeping disciples. You know—his best friends. His very best friends didn’t do what He said. And he just says, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
He wants them to pray because it will help them. The directions He gave them were for their good. He went away to pray, for their good. How great is that love? Amazing. Infinite. Indescribable.
So let me explain this again, from a little different perspective…
Jesus came to earth, and he gave us instructions, and then He left. He left to intercede at the right hand of God the Father for you and for me. And guess what we’re doing? We’re sleeping. We’re not obeying. We’re sad and tired, and we’re sleeping. We’re weary because this life is hard. And while we’re sleeping, where is Jesus? Talking to God about us. Why? Because he loves us. He loves us so much.
How great is our God? How awesome is my Jesus? How much love does he have for me? I can’t even begin to describe it.
But I can tell you this… the more I see and understand his love, the more I love him. And the more I see and understand his love, the more I can handle this “hard” life.
Think about all He’s doing for you. Right now. While you were sleeping.