“…He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” – Mark 14:33-34
Jesus and the twelve had just finished the Passover meal together. As they took the elements, the cup and the bread, Jesus established “The Lord’s Supper” which He commands us to do often in remembrance of Him.
We now find Jesus with just a few of His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane where they retreated to pray. Jesus knew what was ahead of Him the very next day. He tells the disciples that His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.
Jesus was fully God and yet fully human at the same time. Here He shows His humanity in full view. He is troubled and deeply distressed. So full of anxiety and stress in-fact that Luke 22:44 tells us His sweat became like blood. This condition today is known as Hematidrosis and is caused by severe anxiety.
Many times we concentrate only on the physical beatings and abuse Jesus endured by the Roman soldiers before going to the cross. Of course, these should not be minimized. I do not believe, however, that this was the main concern that caused Him this anxiety. Jesus was about to take on the sin of the world. He was about to take on the full weight of God’s wrath for you and me. This is what brought Him this deep distress and sorrow.
The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. True death is the loss of God. For a time, God would have to turn away from Jesus, His Son. The loss of His Father’s face shining upon Him, in total outer darkness, is what caused Him this distress. Wiersbe tells a story about Jan and her friends at a party. They wanted to move to another location and Jan stated, “I’d rather you took me home, my parents don’t approve of that place.” Her date replied, “Are you afraid your father might hurt you?” Jan replied “No, I am afraid I might hurt him.” When a child of God experiences the love of Jesus and what He did, they no longer desire to sin against that love. May we remember what Jesus did.
“Many times God’s love comes to me just when I have been my worst. When I have been miserable, unworthy and completely undeserving, that is when God seeks to show me just how great and how unconditional His love is for me. He does this so that I can rest in the knowledge that His love doesn’t alter from day to day.” – Pastor Chuck Smith