37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?
38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.
40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
In the hour of His greatest trial, the disciples of Jesus slept. When the greatest agony of His soul was wrestling with the eternal plan of God, the disciples of Jesus slept. When Jesus asked them to watch and to pray with Him, the disciples of Jesus slept. When Jesus warned them of their own need to pray in the face of pending temptation to forsake Him, the disciples of Jesus slept. And then, when Judas and the army came against Jesus, the disciples of Jesus, in weakness fled.
Can we ask ourselves a question here? How often does the Lord call us to pray and we sleep instead? How often does the God of heaven, who knows all things, know that we are about to face the greatest trial of our lives and instead of feeding the inner man we placate the outer man and give in to fleshly appetites?
Suppose the disciples had prayed with Jesus instead of sleeping? Their reactions may very well have played out differently. Having been strengthened in prayer with Christ they might have been ready to stay with Him and perhaps to have comforted Him throughout the next several hours of pain. But we will never know because they slept instead.
Oh, how many times have we missed the spiritual strength that we needed for a situation because we did not spend the time with the Lord that the situation required? How many prayer times have we missed because we were too tired or too hungry or just too busy to stop for prayer? Jesus, the Son of God, called these human disciples to pray. He knew they had a trial coming up which would need greater spiritual strength than they possessed. When the Lord calls us to pray, let us make sure we do not sleep.
I have put together an invitation for tomorrow night’s Good Friday service. Copy and paste it into your Facebook, email it to friends, or text it out. Let’s see if we can get some more people to join with us for Good Friday as we exalt the Crucifixion of our Savior.
Have a great day in the Lord,