Holy Wednesday: Remembering His quiet pain and love for us
Praise Christ, who in suffering, bears our sins.
Sing: Gethsemane Hymn
Read God’s Word
Matthew 26: 36-46
Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”
Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”
When He came back, He again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Watch: In the Garden of Gethsemane
It is not uncommon to hear that someone is overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed, the challenge is to throw ourselves at the feet of God in full dependence.
Bearing the sin of the world, the weight of honoring God, and loving Man must have been threatening to pull Jesus asunder. It might seem that Jesus was less courageous than some martyrs who walk fearlessly into death. But this was not the pain of martyrdom where people died for the sake of a greater cause or hope for greater glory.
Rather, this was The King of kings and the Lord of lords preparing to offer Himself as payment for lesser beings. This was voluntary suffering for Man who is of less importance than God. The true importance of Man lies in how much God values us. Jesus’ pain was unique and beyond what we can imagine.
At any point in time, the sovereign King could have said “enough is enough” and pulled the plug on His suffering. He could have instead focused on temporal earthly victory and geographical conquest. The world would have changed, yes. But the souls of Man would have remained lost.
Today, we pause simply to remember how much He voluntarily suffered for us, unholy people who are slow to recognise and appreciate His love.
Lord Jesus, You who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” took the burdens of our sins. You lived Your life in full submission to the Father even when You knew that You would face gruelling and torturous pain. Jesus, what salvation You offer, what deep rest You give me in knowing that You bear all my sins. How easily I take You for granted. Forgive me Lord! As I ponder the agony that You went through on bended knees before the Father, let it be that the prayer of my life is also lived out in “not my will but Thine” in all I do and say, to the glory of Jesus’ great name. Amen!