by Greg Laurie
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care — Isaiah 53:3
Before there was a Calvary, there was a Gethsemane. The sorrow Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane on the last night before His crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all of the sorrow He had ever known, which would accelerate to a climax the following day. This time at Gethsemane, next to the cross itself, was the most difficult moment of His life. He underwent stress of cosmic dimensions.
We must remember this in our moments of loneliness, when we feel as though we have been abandoned by friends or perhaps even betrayed by our own family. When you feel as though no one cares about you, you have a glimpse of what Jesus went through. Jesus experienced all of that—not only the betrayal of His own disciples, not only the people turning against Him en masse, but also the Father himself turning His face away from Jesus for a time as He bore all of the sins of the world—past, present, and future. So Jesus has been there. He knows what it is all about.
Hebrews 4:15 reminds us,
"This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin."
Don’t think you are talking to a God who doesn’t care or is disconnected. To the contrary, Jesus has experienced it. He has felt it. He knows it. That is why verse 16 says, "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
We will have Gethsemanes in our lives, so to speak, times when life isn’t making any sense. That is when we need to remember that Jesus has been there too.
by Greg Laurie