Gethsemane – The Garden Restored
Read this as if you are reading a script.
Narrator: It is indeed a dark, bitter night. The disciples are sad and confused, and maybe a little bit prideful. Peter cannot believe that he could ever betray his Lord.
Reader 1: 36 At that, Jesus led His disciples to the place called Gethsemane.
Jesus: I am going over there to pray. You sit here while I’m at prayer.
Reader 1: 37 Then He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Jesus: 38 My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
Reader 1: 39 He walked a little farther and finally fell prostrate and prayed.
Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me. Not My will, but Yours be done.
Reader 1: 40 When He came back to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.
Jesus (to Peter): So you couldn’t keep watch with Me for just one short hour? 41 Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.
(Matthew 26:36-41, The Voice)
Narrator: What patience and grace Jesus offered the disciples in their time of tempting, especially in light of His own fervent wrestling just beyond their knapsacks. But Jesus also knew they were exhausted with sorrow, and fatigue and sorrow leave us vulnerable and lead us into temptation. Yet the tried-and-true weapon to combat these remains the same: finding that ultimate rest in God. In Jesus’ words,
Jesus: “Watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41, NIV).
Narrator: Jesus’ strategy remains the same for us. Prayer and the Word of God enable us to withstand any temptation. In these very tools we find Christ himself:
Reader 1: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16, NASB).
Narrator: This is such a miracle that in the immediacy of our temptation, in the darkest wrestling of our souls, Christ is present.
(Adapted from Finding Life, pages 73-75)