Thoughts from my friend:
“Today is Thursday of Passion week and this evening around 8 p.m. Jesus will have finished his last supper with the Disciples, all 11 of them. Judas, the 12th, has just left to meet with the rulers to lead the guards of the Temple to Gethsemane. Jesus and the 11 are leaving the upper room and are walking to the Garden which will take about an hour as He talks with them of His death and coming resurrection, topics which they really did not understand the full impact of. Arriving at Gethsemane, the Lord instructs the Disciples to wait. He is taking Peter, James, and John further into the Garden, about a stone’s cast, where He tells them to “watch and pray” because temptation is just around the corner. Jesus falls on His face in great distress and sore depression to pray to His Father. After praying for 1 hour each of 3 times, He returns to Peter, James, and John and finds them still sleeping. After 3 hours of praying it is now 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. early Friday morning. The arrest of Jesus is imminent. He is physically and spiritually exhausted.
Judas arrives with the soldiers tonight and lavishly “kisses” Jesus with the pretense of much affection for the purpose of identifying Him for the soldiers. The Disciples, fearful of personal repercussions against their own safety and liberty, they all flee and abandon the Him contrary to the word they had promised Him. That’s what cowards do, isn’t it? You can almost hear them saying amongst themselves as they flee for safety, “I’ll follow Him when its safe and entertaining, but count me out when the going gets tough.”
Tonight, this Thursday evening, while you and I are asleep in air-conditioned comfort and convenience, the Lord will be tormented, beaten, slapped, beard pulled, and spit upon preparatory to being crucified. His blood already has begun to present itself like sweat drops in Gethsemane as the blood appeared to be coming from the pores of is body, a condition medically named, “Hemathidrosis”. An ugly evening of insults inflicted on Jesus’ breast and brow from the powers of both Rome and Jerusalem will be hurled His way very soon.
When Jesus is arrested this evening He will have gone without any sleep or rest until He dies—a total of about 40 hours. And what voice do I hear and what is that voice saying to me in my own Garden of Gethsemane?
It’s the Holy Spirit of God whispering. I can hear Him. You hear Him as well saying–very softly, but with invasive provocation, “Could you not watch with me for one hour?”
Alright, disciples of Jesus Christ, looking and sounding good and spiritual when things are going well, where are we this night? Will you and I remain by His side and plant our flags of devotion and loyalty, or will we flee?