Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”¬†Matthew 26:46

After spending an extended time of teaching and communion with His closest disciples, Jesus left the upper room and traveled to the Mt. of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane on His way to Calvary and His crucifixion. While in Gethsemane, He urged the disciples to earnestly pray, and He removed Himself a short distance from them, where He agonized in prayer. Falling on His face, our Savior surrendered in every way to the Father’s will and the torturous path of sacrifice that was necessary for our salvation. What love is manifested in the offering of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who willingly accepted the cruel agony of the cross, that we might be redeemed!

Periodically, Jesus would check on the disciples, only to find them sleeping instead of seeking God. After this time of prayer, Jesus returned to the slumbering disciples, saying “Rise, let us be going.” It was time to face the angry religious crowd, time to greet Judas, time to experience the humiliation, interrogations, and beatings that preceded Calvary. It was time to experience the denial of Peter and the dispersion of His closest allies. It was time to hear the blasphemy of the Roman soldiers and feel the lashes of the scourge upon His holy frame. He would now hear the angry mobs cry out for His crucifixion, feel the tearing of the flesh as the nails pierced His limbs, listen to the jeering of the spectators, and experience the darkness of bearing our sins upon His own body on the tree.

“Rise, let us be going.” The time of prayer was over, now was the time for action. This was the moment Jesus had anticipated for all eternity. We all would have done anything to avoid or postpone the appointment at Golgotha, but not Jesus. In His words, “Rise, let us be going,” there is encouragement for us as well. Though we will never endure anything remotely compared to what He experienced, we all must face dreaded and difficult situations. How do we approach those times that are so difficult they make most other trials pale in comparison? Like our Savior, we should spend time alone with the Father, seeking His face and surrendering to His will. There will be times in our lives when we must choose the Father’s will over our own. When our soul is sorrowful, and we have accepted the Father’s will and sought Him earnestly, then we can rise from prayer and follow the will of God.