The desert is hot and humid. The sun beats down on a lone tree with its arms reaching out as though seeking the moisture that kisses its leaves.
The heat is oppressing but the dew from the night still lingers. The strong gnarled trunk stands majestically holding up the arms of time.
Beneath the shade of the old tree, at an old rock, a Man kneels. His head bowed and drops of sweat drip down His cheeks. His silent prayer becomes agonizing as His sweat turns to blood and drips down forever staining the rock.
“Take this cup” His anguished voice pleads to His Father.
Men, that He has called friends, slouch a few yards away, asleep. They hear not the anguished cry of their friend, the Man they called a friend.
Tears stream, blood-red sweat pours as the Man kneels with His head hanging low. “Not My will but Thine,” He finally whispers as His friends snore.
After some time, He slowly and painfully rises. He walks toward His friends and sees they are sound asleep. He stands silently looking down at them.
Slowly the closed eyes of His friends begin to open and they look up at the Man and make no apology as they rub their calloused hands across their eyes and beards.
“So you could not watch with Me an hour?” The Man states.
His friends say nothing.
The Man waits a moment.
The Man finally turns and walks slowly away leaving his friends, slouched and yawning.
Matthew 26:38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
In this story the disciples seem to ignore the plea of Jesus and place their own needs ahead of His. Do we do the same when we have a special day planned and the phone rings with a plea for help from a friend? The Word says that love is sacrificial and as the body of Christ, unlike Christ’s disciples in this story, we are to lay aside unimportant tasks to reach out to others in need. We possibly could be the only face of Christ that the person will see. I thank God that Jesus did not turn and walk away from the cross because of His own plans for the day.