Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Betrayed Into The Hands of Sinners

Mark 14:32-42 (ESV)
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." [33] And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. [34] And he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch." [35] And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. [36] And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." [37] And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? [38] Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." [39] And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. [40] And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. [41] And he came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. [42] Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

The hours before Christ’s death are so full of meaning, a man could mine their contents his whole life and not get all of it out.
The Disciples sleep. They can’t seem to take notice of what is happening. They sleep. They are tired. Jesus is sorrowful unto death. The disciples can’t do anything. Jesus is distressed and troubled. But what are the disciples supposed to do? They sit, they wait while Jesus prays and fall asleep.
I hear people make light of Jesus suffering at times. They seem to think because Jesus knew what the outcome would be, he didn’t suffer as much. We forget that he was a man like us. Without sin yes, but still a man. I don’t think we could imagine the anguish he must have felt that night. He knew his Father would forsake him and that never happened before. His relation ship with the Father, with whom he shared an ontological unity would be ruptured. He’d be taken in by the hands of sinners, and would be forsaken as if he were. He wouldn’t sin, but he’d feel the guilt and take the punishment for it. It was not an easy thing. He prays.
Perhaps there have been times we have felt sorrow unto death. I think we call it despair. I’ have had it a few times in life. I find that copying Jesus here is a good route to take. Prayer doesn’t always get answered the way we want it. It did not for Jesus. He still had to suffer everything that was coming to him. But prayer had given him the strength to survive it. Prayer won’t get rid of our problems either. But it does give us strength to survive them. When we pray in Jesus Christ, our prayers are those of a righteous man, and they are heard by Jesus who prayed for himself and us in the Garden just as he was betrayed into our hands, the hands of sinners who would crucify him.

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