In the garden
from a devotional by Max Lucado
The scene is very simple. A grove of twisted olive trees. Ground cluttered with large rocks. A low stone fence. A dark, dark night.
See that solitary figure? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Blood on his forehead.
Mark wrote about that painful night with phrases like, “Horror and dismay came over him.” “My heart is ready to break with grief.” “He went a little forward and threw himself on the ground.”
Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus resting in the palm of God? Hardly. Mark used black paint to describe this scene. We see an agonizing, straining, and struggling Jesus. We see a man of sorrows. We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief.
We see Jesus in the fog of a broken heart.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.
God was never more human than at this hour.
God was never nearer to us than when he hurt.