Loneliness was the first thing God found in His creation that was not good (Genesis 2:18). Today, it continues to be one of mankind’s biggest struggles and leads us to many sins, addictions, and negative coping mechanisms. Being fully man, how did Jesus handle loneliness? A glimpse into Gethsemane reveals the answer.
I. John 17:5-12. Just before Gethsemane, Jesus points to the fellowship He shares with His Father that He also hopes for us (John 10:30; John 11:42). Yet, as He gets to the garden, His circle shrinks from eleven (Judas had left) to three to just Him, whose heart was sorrowful to the point of death (Matthew 26:36-38). They had all insisted that they would stand by Him before He went (Mark 14:27-31), but after they all deserted Him (Mark 14:50). As He bore the guilt of all our sins on the cross, even the Father would forsake Him (Matthew 27:46).
II. Luke 22:39-46. Jesus was fully God, yes, but to be our sacrifice on the cross, He had to face all temptations and struggles as fully man (Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 4:15). Having conquered the devil’s snares in the desert at the beginning of His ministry (Luke 4:13), the opportune time came for Satan to try again while all earthly support had been stripped from Jesus–Gethsemane. Jesus leaned on the fellowship He shared with His Father in prayer, but the answer was a cup of anguish placed before Him that His Father would not remove.
III. Hebrews 10:5-10. So, in this body prepared for Him and all alone except for the Father, whose will it was to crush Him for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:10-12), Jesus wrestled in the flesh with remaining a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) that did His Father’s will or living for His own will. It is the same choice that is before us as we promised with our confession of ‘Jesus as Lord’ and our baptism to trust and obey. Yet, is this what we do when life strips us of all earthly comforts and places a cup before us we don’t want to drink?
Do we, along with Jesus who made it possible for us to do so, say, “Not my will, but yours, be done”?