And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?Matthew 26:40(NASB)
Was it disinterest in their Master's sufferings that caused the disciples to fall asleep at this critical time in Christ's passion, or was it as suggested by Luke that they were overwhelmed with sleep on account of their own sorrow, which caused them all to slip into the safety of unconscious sleep? Exhaustion, fatigue, sorrow and grief at the shocking uncertainty of all that had crowded into their increasingly fearful hearts was clearly taking its toll, and the body's 'safety-mechanism' was being kicked into place to save the disciples' hearts from failing for fear of what was coming into their immediate future.
None can begin to imagine the sorrow that Christ experienced as He faced Calvary alone, but our hearts can empathise with His disciples as we, like them, are facing some of the greatest trials that we have ever witnessed. How gracious it was of Jesus to single out the blustery self-confident Peter, who had just proclaimed his undying loyalty to his Lord and yet soon was to face the greatest trial of his entire life when he denied His Lord - three times.
Like Peter, we also face an increasingly uncertain future, but let us never forget that the Holy Spirit of God has been given to the Church to take up permanent residence within the heart of every member of Christ's Body. Let us also remember that we have no reason to be overwhelmed by the protective bodily mechanism of sleep that overcame the disciples during Christ's pre-cross visit to Gethsemane, for we have already received many precious promises that are found in the Word of God and have been assured that His grace is sufficient, for His strength is perfected in our weakness.
He is with us every moment of the day and we have His assurance that no matter what we have to face, we have sufficient grace and strength to overcome and to keep watch with our Saviour, Who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
Let us not slumber through disinterest or with deep sorrow of heart, but remember that no matter what we may have to face in the days that lie ahead, let us, in His strength, watch out for the Lord's soon return and watch with Him in His continuous ministry of intercession.
Thank You Lord for Your Word of truth and the lessons it teaches me day by day. I understand that in my own strength I would soon fall into some narcotic slumber, because my heart is grieved by all that is coming on the world - yet in Your strength and with Your sufficient grace I know that I can face the future. Give me Your strength I pray, to faithfully keep watch with my Lord Jesus in His continuous ministry of intercession, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.