Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Matthew 26: 36-38 (KJV)
We would all like to think we have that one person, that one someone that no matter what happens they will be there for you. We would like to believe that there is that one trusted friend and confidant that knows our deepest darkest secrets but still calls us friend. The one you can call at midnight and they will still answer your call. The one that has loved you and cared for you through those really bad times and has loved you when you were not very loveable. It is one of those basic human needs to have someone that you can depend on even at your very worst and more especially when you are facing times of trouble. But what happens when you are called upon to be that friend? What happens when that friend is the one in need? Can you be that kind of friend?
In the book of Matthew Chapter 26, Jesus was in this very place of need. The horror of what he was about to face on the cross stood looming before him. The pain, the degradation, and his ultimate death were just hours away. He needed those that knew him and loved him to stand with him as he prepared to face the unimaginable suffering that he would endure. Matthew says in verse 37 and 38 he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Jesus was so distressed that he asked his closest friends to sit with him for a while. He was burdened and “exceedingly sorrowful”, feeling the full weight of the cruel, inconceivable death he was facing, as he took up the fight for humanity. He did not ask them to do anything. He just needed to know they were there with him as the time drew near. Stay here and wait with me. Can you imagine his loneliness and grief as he went back to find them sleeping? Three times he asked and three times he was let down by those that had just moments earlier declared their unfailing loyalty, “Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples”. They were willing to die for him but could not stay awake during the deepest darkest moments of his life. They took for granted that he would be okay. They took for granted that there would be more time; another chance. But there were no more chances to do what they wished they had done, to say what they wished they had said. There was no more time. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Right now, we still have time to do and say all that needs to be said and done. Tell those you love that you love them. Do those things that you always wanted to do. Say the things you always meant to say. Be that friend that remains awake. But more important than anything else; know that we cannot take for granted the opportunity for salvation.” Behold, the hour is at hand”.
Prayer: Father we thank you that your death, burial, and resurrection allowed us access to the free gift of salvation. May we never take for granted the redeeming blood that saves. Right now while we still have time allow us to receive the free gift of salvation. We thank you for being that friend that will never leave or forsake us in the time of trouble. And for this, we give glory and honor. Amen