Mark 14:32-42 (ESV)
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 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. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Jesus and the eleven disciples with him went to the Garden of Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane means “oil-press” in Hebrew. It was a place where any of the disciples could have gone to find Jesus, because they went there together often. Jesus told his followers to wait for him while he prayed, and then he asked Peter, James, and John to personally accompany him. He explained that his soul was very sorrowful. The Greek word translated “very sorrowful” can literally mean “burdened” or “crushed with grief.” He asked the three specifically to wait and watch while he prayed. The verb translated as “watch” means to “stay awake,” “be on the alert,” or “be ready.” Jesus knew what was around the corner, and he was alarmed. Then Jesus dropped to the ground and intensely prayed. He asked God if there were any other way. If it were within the will of God, could the impending doom Jesus was about to face be removed? The cup that Jesus asked to have taken from him referred to the horror he would experience when the wrath of God for the sin of mankind was poured out upon him. No human has or will ever experience anything like this. Even those who will one day be sentenced to eternal hell will only experience wrath in proportion to their own sin on earth. We simply can’t imagine the suffering Jesus endured so that we might be reconciled to the Father.
Jesus went to the “garden of the oil-press,” and his soul began to be broken. Isaiah 53:10 states, “It was the will of the Lord to crush him.” We can forget that it was actually God’s plan to crush Jesus. It wasn’t just normal human death Jesus was about to face, but a transaction that had never before occurred and never would again. The spotless Son of God was about to provide our ransom by literally taking on the punishment we deserve, experiencing separation from God the Father as a result. If you are a Christian and you are feeling insignificant, unworthy, or unloved, then remember the cross. Jesus was dejected and fearful as he walked right into the crushing God desired him to experience on your behalf. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Jesus paid for every sin you have ever committed or will commit. May that truth inspire you to live for him today.