Matthew 26:43-46: 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 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. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
My thoughts this morning are drawn to the disciples, those sleepyheads whose stomachs were full and exhausted after a long day. They just couldn’t keep their eyes open. They didn’t have it in them to watch and pray with Jesus. My eyes are drawn to them because I know how hard it is to pray when I go to bed, because my eyes are tired and sleep comes too easily.
My thoughts want to go there, but the person in this story that I should be looking at is Jesus. He ate, too, and his day was even longer. Any of you who have stood and taught people, as Jesus did in the temple, know how exhausting that can be. But there was no sleep for Jesus on this night. He returned to his heavenly Father in prayer a second and a third time. He practiced what he taught us when he said that we should ask, seek, and knock. And when he was finished, he knew the Father’s will in his heart and was ready to go the distance.
There seems to be excitement in his voice when he tells his disciples, “Rise, Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!” He dreaded this moment and he also longed for this moment. This was what he was born to do. This is why God’s Son took flesh and lived among us. He came to bear the sins of the world on his shoulders so that, by faith in him, we can find rest for our souls.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in you I find rest for my tired soul! I do not have to obsess about my sin and guilt because I can freely confess all my wrongs to you. Take away my guilt and shame. Give me the rest that only your forgiveness can give me. I ask this in your name. Amen.