This is a gut-wrenching episode in Jesus’ life. He is about to undergo the excruciating and torturous death by crucifixion and on top of that, carry the guilt and shame of mankind’s sin leading to separation from His Heavenly Father. No one can know and our imaginations fail to allow us to really understand the pressure and pain He felt. Not only do His close friends not get it, they are caught up in their petty rivalries and weakness. From a human vantage point, Jesus was completely alone, suffering in isolation, even with others around Him.
His reliance on His Heavenly Father was His sole comfort.
My admiration for Jesus grows every time I read this story and so does my recognition that in it is the example I need in facing tests in my life. There will be times when I feel, and actually am, utterly alone as I face a challenge or struggle. When this happens I need to have developed what Jesus did, a close personal relationship with God, one that is forged in day-to-day life. This was Jesus’ source of strength, perspective and hope.
An example of this is at the beginning of Mark, “The next morning he was up long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.” Read the context and you find that Jesus is enjoying great success at the time, yet He makes time alone with His Father a priority over anything else. This is what gives Him the strength to face the cross.
The truth is that He alone is the only foundation that can bear the full weight of my life. There are times when God allows me to face problems and tests that push me into His arms as my only place of comfort and strength.
Jesus shows us how we can pass our tests too.