Have you ever felt alone? Betrayed or despised? Have you suffered? David certainly did, and he expressed his grief in prayer to the Lord, as we read in today’s Psalm. I love how the Psalms teach us to pray in moments of sorrow. We all go through seasons of life where we feel alone in our brokenness, and where we fear it will never end. We tend to filter our prayers because we think God cannot handle what we really want to say. In reality, God has a thick skin and wants us to express our deepest, most difficult emotions to him. As Pastor Mark Clark once said, “The only way we don’t go and break somebody’s teeth is if we pray that God would do it.”
In Mark, Jesus teaches us what it means to trust God with our sorrow in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Jesus has already been betrayed by one of his disciples, a few of them are going to fall asleep on him in a few hours, and moments later, Peter is going to deny knowing him. Jesus relates to us in our suffering. He outwardly expresses the same feelings we have, and David had. Jesus, in his desperation and fear, cries out to the Father. ‘Lord, take this cup from me. I know you can do all things. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’
In the Old Testament, the Israelites had to make sacrifices to atone for their sins. In Leviticus 17, God says that it is the ‘blood that makes atonement by the life.” Jesus is our perfect atonement. His life was poured out as a living sacrifice, so ours would not be.
As Jesus pleads with the Father in the garden of Gethsemane, he knows what must be done. Jesus was betrayed, abandoned and crucified. Jesus did this for us and before us. He knows what we’re going through because he has lived it. May we learn to pray like Jesus in our grief. Lord, take this cup from me. I don’t want it anymore. I’m tired. I’m broken. I’m alone. But even if you don’t, I will trust in you, O Lord, for you are my God.
Apprentice of Jesus, Family Ministries Associate, Young Adults Practicum Student (Ambrose University – Theology)