Easter brings out several thoughts and emotions for me. I am often amazed and at the same time saddened by what Christ experienced as He prepared for death. In knowing that He would be betrayed and placed on the cross, how can you wrap your mind around such a journey to reach such an impactful purpose?
As Jesus went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane, he stated: “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me,” Matthew 26:38. To be overcome with such grief and pain must be debilitating, and yet he depended upon his disciples to be there in his most needed hour so that He could pray and seek God.
His disciples let Him down by falling asleep. It’s easy to see the disciples through the eyes of superiority. Why couldn’t they just stay up and pay attention? This really forces each of us to reflect on the moments that others have asked us to be available only to find ourselves distracted by our own needs in the moment.
The disciples found themselves struggling in their humanity. It’s in those moments that we recognize our need and dependency upon Christ. Otherwise, we are going to always fall short. They were near Christ and still lost sight of the goal (Romans 3:23).
The same thing happens to us in our relationships with friends, but we also do it in our relationship with God. It is important that we stay focused, that we pray and that we are not willing to give up even when we are heavy with burdens. God never promised that it would be easy, but would He did say is that He would not leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6-8). He doesn’t.
Yet, as humans, leaving isn’t always physical. Leaving can be our minds drifting, our spirits connecting to influences that are not good for us or allowing our emotions to take control instead of allowing God to remain in the driver’s seat. We all have our Gethsemanes—our places of suffering.
We will have experiences that are overwhelming and can literally drain all our focus, energy, and desire. Some of those experiences can keep us paralyzed, unable to move forward and we find ourselves drifting off to sleep spiritually or mentally.
Unlike Christ, as much as we want to do what’s right, it’s hard. Jesus stated: “For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” Matthew 26:41. Sometimes, we mess up royally. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do,” Romans 7:15. Jesus’ response to his disciples is a key for us. Christ did not stop praying even though He was fully aware of the difficulty of the journey. Even as Jesus faced the accusations from the Sanhedrin, He never lost sight of the goal in mind. He continued to focus on the resurrection despite the pain of betrayal by those He loved and walked with; others who misunderstood Him; a crowd choosing a murderer to release over Him; and a governmental system that knew He had done no wrong but allowed his death to occur, Matthew 26-27. We might find ourselves with a slew of reasons to give up because of how much we face.
We must focus on the promises of God even when we find ourselves distracted or even witnessing things around us disappear or even die.
My emotions overwhelm me in knowing what Christ endured for me and for you. Yet Easter is a reminder that He lives. No matter what you are facing, with Christ, those things that are hard, that appear dead and gone can live again! Stay focused, remain in Him and know that your life can be resurrected when you surrender all to God who has already won the victory for you.
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)