After the supper was over, Jesus and his disciples left the Upper Room and went to a garden called Gethsemane. Jesus knew that his time on earth was limited and the unfolding events would alter not only his life, but the rest of human history. He must have been numbly exhausted, and yet, his soul was in distress. He made one request of his disciples: “Stay here and keep watch with me.” They must have been eager to please their rabbi, and yet, they failed him in his most distressing hour. Not once, not twice, but three times he found them sleeping when he had asked them to pray. How often we fail to keep our word, follow through, or do our best, despite our best intentions. And yet, Christ loves us through it all. He willingly drinks the cup that leads him to death for penalty of our sins.
As the Lenten season comes to a close and we wait longingly for Easter, may we remember that we are deeply in need of a Savior. We often seem to have it together. We like to think that we’re not that bad. However, at the very least, we get tired. We get impatient. We want things to just hurry up. We act like the disciples on that last night that Jesus had with together with them. We have good intentions, and yet, we fall asleep. Fortunately for us, we have a patient Savior. We can be rebuked and then reinstated (like Peter—the sleeper)! I take great peace in reading these words of Peter in 1 Peter 4:7: “Be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” Peter wrote these words knowing that this was not an easy task. And yet, he learned the lesson. May we learn it, too.