“He told them, ‘My soul is CRUSHED with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.” (Mark 14:34-35 NLT)
Today is Maundy Thursday – the Thursday in Holy Week. Many churches, including the one I grew up in, held a service which included a foot washing and communion because those are two significant experiences written in Scripture as the authors describe how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and had his last supper with them the night when he was arrested and betrayed which led to his crucifixion. Jesus’ time in the garden of Gethsemane is also remembered on this Maundy Thursday.
I think this time in Gethsemane was an enormous weight on Jesus’ heart – probably heavier than it was when he carried that cross on his back. He had to confess sin and carry shame even though he had NEVER felt or experienced it before. I can’t imagine that feeling he had. But He did that for me and you.
Kris Camealy wrote these crushing words that I share with you this day before we remember the death on the cross Jesus did for us.
“The word Gethsemane means ‘A CRUSHING PLACE’. It’s there in this crushing place where Christ shed crimson tears not of water, but of holy blood. His anguish, so intense that as a man He questions the necessity of His impending death, and yet, as the Christ, He simultaneously accepts it out of His perfect obedience to the Father.
May we find ourselves in this crushing place. This is a place not for fear, but for freedom. Confession of our doubts and struggles loosens the chains of sin and sends us further into the fires of refinement and deeper on our journey of sanctification. Here is this place, we weep with the anguish of a soul that has seen the depths of our won depravity. We weep with Christ, with honest sorrow and ridiculous joy so that, as we let it all out, we will walk out of this garden freer than when we stumbled in. He takes our filth and nails it to a tree, and the gift is ours when we confess – humbly confess.”
Jesus, I don’t deserve to be set free because I’ve been filthy in sin. But You love me so much that You’d do anything and everything that needs to take place in order for me to have freedom WITH You. Thank you for the significant practices and recognitions of how You washed feet and offered Your last supper to us as a gift. A gift to be reminded often of the sacrifice You were about to make for us and how You desire for us to wash feet by serving others like You did to Your disciples. Today, remind me often of the crimson, holy tears You cried… Amen.
(image above from http://www.joelbeeke.org/2015/05/tour-of-israel-15-gethsemane/)