You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. The hour has come. Now the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is close at hand already.
After the last supper, Jesus brought his disciples to the Garden of Olives. He then took Peter, James and John and went a little further. He left the three as he went on to pray to his Father. He came back and saw the three sleeping. He woke them up and told them to pray then he went back again to battle with his fears. The third time, he came back, he told them to sleep now and take their rest because the hour has come.
This strikes me as something that happens to us whenever we enter into the darkness of our prayer life. Before we enter the darkness, we are expected to pray so that we can be strengthened. Our prayer should always be to know him more. When darkness comes to our life, we can only do what Jesus says, “sleep on and take your rest”. The reason for this is that in our darkness, we cannot do anything. At this point in our life, only Jesus can move and all we can do is wait for him.
After his arrest, the disciples began to see their hopes and dreams shattered. They now see their Deliverer being dragged and treated worse than an animal and dying without dignity. The death of Jesus meant the end of their dreams and hopes. Yet, we know this is not the end, because soon, Jesus will rise again, transformed to a glorified body, finally, receiving power from the Father.
The same is true in our lives. In darkness, we see our hopes and dreams shattered. And we feel God slowly moving away from us, until we feel so distant from him. We feel like he has abandoned us. During these times when God seems absent, we know and believe that he is working mightily.
When Jesus was suffering, he was still in control. In his trial with the Sanhedrin, he was in control. In his trial with Pilate, he was in control. Even on the cross, Jesus was in control. To the last breath he gave, he was in control.
Similarly, when God seems distant, it is the time when he moves mightily, in a way we do not and cannot understand. All we can do is to sleep and take our rest in him. It is during this time that we learn and realize that only God can help and save us. We let God take charge! And in the end, we too shall rise up with him. Our dreams and hopes will be transformed and we shall see clearly what he shall do to us because our God is a God of power and freedom! During this season of Lent, may we be able to throw ourselves before the mercy of Jesus and trust in him.
Lord Jesus, we trust in you!