Jesus prayed – a lot (Mark 1:35). We don’t know what Jesus said in most of His prayers, but we do know what He prayed the night before He died: “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Mark 14:36, NLT) Jesus wrestled with the Father. Jesus is fully God and fully human; as a human, He struggled with God’s plan. In the end, He made a choice to be obedient to the will of the Father. He chose to suffer and die for the salvation of humanity.
In the Garden, we see that God fully understands our human experience. Life is not the way we want it to be. Life includes betrayal, injustice, pain, and death. Life is broken, but the sacrifice of Jesus makes it whole. Christ experienced the depth of our pain. He prayed in agony to the Father. We will have times of agony as well. We will walk with those who are agonizing, struggling with God, and feeling alone. Jesus’ friends had the wisdom to not say anything; what could they have said? They stayed by His side (although they fell asleep). Great friendship includes vigil – staying by someone’s side in their pain.
Through it all, we have hope. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, whipped, unjustly condemned, mocked, and murdered. But He rose again. His death killed death. He lives in us through the Holy Spirit; His life is in us, giving us strength – even in our pain and struggles. We are never alone; we have true hope. In hope we can move forward – although there will still be struggles – knowing that God is always with us.