By Janet Willig
Mark 14: 32-36 – 32 Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, Sit down here while I pray. 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled and depressed. 34 And He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad (overwhelmed with grief) so that it almost kills Me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching. 35 And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [fatal] hour might pass from Him. 36 And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will]. (Amplified Version)
Jesus is often pictured with a detached, other-worldly expression on his face. Sometimes artists even portray Him with a halo of light surrounding his head. This Scripture passage, however, paints a slightly different word picture. Knowing the fate that soon awaited Him, Jesus took His three most trusted disciples to Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony to His Father. He was “struck with terror.” He was “depressed.” He was “overwhelmed with grief.”
Further on in this chapter Mark writes that even in Jesus’ extremity of emotion, His disciples couldn’t stay awake and be there for Him. Jesus must have felt so alone. Then when He hung dying on the cross, He uttered the haunting words, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”
In His sorrow, in His grief, in His agony, Jesus was alone. Utterly alone.
Oddly enough, it can be comforting for us to grasp the depth of despair that Jesus was forced to endure, because He did it for us. Every anguished plea, every sweat-drop of blood. He endured it all for us, and then He won the victory over it all for us. He loves us that much.
Even as we pray in our own Gethsemanes and experience our own extremities of emotion, one of the greatest reassurances we have is that Jesus knows just what we are going through and exactly how we feel. In our sorrow, in our grief, in our agony, we are not alone. Never alone.