It is never comfortable to see a leader in a moment of fear. It is unnerving. We want our leaders to have it together, to show strength and speak words that inspire, calling us to face dangers with courage. So then, what about Jesus, the greatest leader that there ever was, or ever will be? What about his moments of soul crushing emotion he let show in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Mark 14:34-35- He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.
Operative words... "He told them..."
Jesus didn't hide; and most likely couldn't have hid, the extreme distress that had begun to consume him. The King of kings bared his soul to those closest to Him. His example and his experience in the Garden of Gethsemane is worth closer examination for our own mental and emotional health.
Does Jesus understand your roller coaster of emotions? Does He really feel the depths of soul darkness and depression you feel? Your belief can be found in how often you say, "God, do you see my distress? Do you care? Can't you see my suffering?"
About 13 years ago, I happened upon a book by a Chief Medical Examiner (CME) named Dr. Frederick Zugibe. Over the course of his lifetime as a forensic pathologist, he felt called to give Jesus an autopsy by reaching back through the centuries. He saw forensic detail in the Gospel accounts that gave him enough credible evidence to report what Jesus suffered at each point of his walk to the cross; and then conclude how He died. His forensic examination included all aspects of Jesus' physical suffering, including mental and emotional distress. As a CME who performed over 10K autopsies over his career, in one of the most violent counties in NY, he felt confident that his assessment of Jesus' suffering was credibly grounded in first hand experience and research.
I admit when I read the book, I had to put it down many times. It opened up for me a view into Christ's suffering that I never saw. Reading what Jesus would have felt in all of his bodily systems, especially his mental and emotional state, was shocking and moving. Where before I scanned over the 3 Gospel accounts that record Jesus saying his soul was overwhelmed to the point of death, now I stop and enter that moment with Him, understanding a little better, from a medical and human perspective, what was happening within Him. I love Him more.
If you want to know Jesus better, I invite you to join in this Thursday night April 1st at 8PM EST for a forensic look into Jesus' suffering in the garden. It will be about a 1 hour presentation with medical conclusions from Dr. Zugibe, as well as a few prayer prompts along the way. You'll have moments of silence to reflect, talk to Him, and do what He did, confess your distress. I greatly encourage you to look upon Jesus' mental and emotional suffering. The deeper you connect with His pain, the less you will say, "God, do you care?"
"Watch and pray" with Jesus in to the Garden of Gethsemane! Take a closer look at what he endured before anyone laid a hand on Him! This event will be held live on Youtube, as well as on our Into the Waters Facebook page, and within our private FB group Peace Be Still.
Here is the Youtube link or click on the picture below! Set a reminder for yourself!
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!