June 1, 2020
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he [Jesus] began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
As discussed in our sermon yesterday, there is an element in our culture which is dismissive of our daily emotions. Many of us either avoid talking about how we’re feeling (“I’m fine! Really!”) or else we disdain our emotions as extraneous, annoying and/or irrelevant (“You feel sad? Well, stop it!”). There is something in our pride which sees our emotions as weakness and therefore something to reject.
But I have found it powerfully life-changing to grapple with this truth: Jesus has real emotions just like I do. In our passage Jesus is agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane, utterly overwrought with emotion. But He does not wave off the disciples saying “It’s okay, I’m fine,” nor does He exhort Himself to just think positively. It’s clear, Jesus is NOT fine here, nor is carrying the weight of the world’s sins easy or irrelevant!
In our lives there will be days when we also are not fine, and our struggles not irrelevant. And our emotions are telling us so. When I struggle with sadness I sometimes (incorrectly) tell myself to buck up and get over it, and stop being so weak. But I am learning to remember Jesus was sad once, too (sadder than I will ever be!) And if He knew the best choice was to embrace that sadness, embrace that weakness and take it to our Heavenly Father, then perhaps I should do the same.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15