Again and Immediately

by DanWolgemuth on March 3, 2017

Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.  And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.  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.  Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”  And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.  (Mark 14:39-43)

AGAIN AND IMMEDIATELY:  TWO words that show a Savior in pain.  Jesus made a request of three of His disciples – Peter, James and John – His closest allies, His trusted friends, His inner circle, and all they could deliver was disappointment.  Sleep was more urgent than loyalty.  And so, once again, as Jesus dialogued with the Father in ultimate earnestness, His earthly comrades drifted off.  His pain found no partner, His turmoil no companion.

As if this wasn’t enough, immediately Jesus is confronted with the betrayal of His treasurer:  the man who knew the inner workings of the ministry; the man in whom great trust had been placed; the man whose feet Jesus had just washed with His own hands.  Unlike the other disciples, this man was not just passively rebelling; he was an active traitor masquerading as a kissing confidant.

Again and immediately.  Alone and abandoned.  Ignored and betrayed.

Is there any point of disappointment in our lives that Jesus hasn’t experienced more acutely?  No wound from a friend, no pain of deceit, no willful act of denial and neglect that Jesus hasn’t experienced more profoundly.

Again and immediately.  Jesus knows our pain.  Not indirectly.  Not from a safe distance, but in the garden at the point of our greatest need and exposure.  Some sleeping, some stealing His trust.

Our Savior has plumbed the depth of our greatest pain… and has offered us hope, and healing through the cross.  He is more than empathetic; He is our companion in the desert, our guide through the desperation.

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