Daily Dose, Sept. 12 — Singing the Blues

 

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” (Matthew 26: 36-39)

One of the most mysterious Christian proclamations is that Christ was, at the same time, both fully human and fully divine. There are stories in Scripture that clearly reinforce the divine nature of Christ, but sometimes we forget that there are other stories that point to his humanity. It’s important to remember this human component of Christ, because it reminds us that he truly came to be among us and to experience what we experience. Our suffering and struggles — our experience of “the blues” — isn’t lost on Jesus.

If Jesus experienced the fullness of being human, then it’s hard for me to imagine that he wouldn’t have balked sometimes at suffering and difficulty. It’s part of the human experience to turn away from unpleasant things, especially if we are directly impacted and are experiencing the effects of the unpleasantness. Today’s reading reveals a human impulse in Jesus. One translation of verse 39 reads, “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer…” In this snapshot, we see that Jesus didn’t embrace suffering any more than we do. Jesus himself turns his head — and his heart — away from unpleasantness that will come upon him.

As we walk through dark and difficult days, may we gain comfort in knowing that Jesus knows what it feels like. Jesus didn’t float above the human experience; instead, he got right down in the middle of all of it. And whatever your struggle may be, he’s walking through the thick of it with you.

Our Father, if it is possible, don’t make us suffer. Amen. — Rev. Brad Greene