Up to this point in Matthew we have seen Jesus display his authority in many ways. In Matthew 26:36-56 Jesus enters the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples and they see a different side of Jesus, he is sorrowful and troubled. In fact, he tells them his “soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.” (vs.38)
Jesus was about to enter into the most difficult task the Father had given him. N. T. Wright describes it as “he was called to go into the darkness, deeper than anyone had gone before, the darkness of one who, though he was the very son of God, would drink the cup which symbolized God’s wrath against all that is evil, all that destroys and defaces God’s wonderful world and his image bearing creatures.”
As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Jesus will have to walk this path alone. Right before he enters the garden he tells his disciples they will all fall away from him. While they are in the garden, Jesus is in great agony and asks them to stay with him and pray, but they fall asleep. He is then betrayed by one of his own and after he is arrested, all of the disciples desert him. Soon he will go through tremendous suffering and while he is on the cross he will say, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
The story of Easter has become so familiar to me I can easily minimize all that he endured. In the moments leading up to the cross he was not only mocked, spit on and beaten, but he was alone.
I am so thankful the story doesn’t end there, shortly we will see the King display his ultimate power in the resurrection, but it is good for me to reflect on all he has done for me. He walked through the suffering of the cross alone, and because he rose from the dead, as I walk through my own roads of suffering, I never have to walk alone.