“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them…” Mark 14:34
We live in a world of happy Christians these days. We walk into church with our smiles on, we say “Great!” when asked how we are. We exude cheer at all times, sometimes to the point of mania. And there is no greater disservice we could do to ourselves or to the world that is dying without the hope of Christ.
It is understandable when we look at Scripture. There are commands to stand ready to give the reason for the hope we have. There is the passage on the Fruit of the Spirit that lists joy in second place. And we are after all sharing Good News. Certainly, we don’t want to spend all of our days walking around moping and gloomy. Yet, we cannot deny that we will also feel sorrow. Christ mentions those who mourn specifically in the Beatitudes. And here, in this verse, we see the Son of God, the King of Kings, telling us that his soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. That’s a lot of pain.
He is standing in the garden with a few of His followers. He knows that soon the soldiers will come. Soon one of His best friends will betray Him. He knows that soon He will be put down a hole, have the skin torn off His back, and be led away to be nailed on a cross. Those He loves will deny Him and run from Him. Those He came to save will demand His crucifixion and mock Him in His pain. His life here on earth will be over, all those friendships and relationships will change forever come morning. And, even though He knows it is the will of the Father, that it must happen, that it is the fulfillment of the Law and the salvation of mankind, He feels sorrow unto death for what He is about to go through and what He is about to lose.
Two verses later He demonstrates how to deal with those sorrows that come upon us. It is not with smiles and false cheer. It is not with our game face on. It is not by telling the world we’re doing great when inside we are overwhelmed with sorrow. It is instead this “Abba, [Daddy][f] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
The Bible tells us we will have sorrow in our lives. There will be loss. When we as Christians feel sorrow we aren’t to hide it, or set it aside. We are to carry it to our Daddy who loves us, tell Him we hurt, ask for His help, and stand ready to be obedient anyway.
The world is a broken and hurting place. The people in it experience loss daily, it might be a loved one, it might be a job, it might be their own health, it might be a dream they hold dear. Whatever it is, they need to know that they don’t have to never feel loss to know Christ. We as Christians all experience these losses too. What we need to show them is that it is through Christ, and obedience to God that strength can be found in our sorrows. Joy comes in the morning. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Daddy, tonight Your children’s hearts are heavy. The world is broken. Darkness often presses in on us from every side. Those we love are perishing either in body or in soul. The things we hold dear are taken away. Sometimes Daddy, we just want to crawl into Your lap and weep. Give us the strength of Your Son to be obedient to Your will. Give us the comfort of Your promises in our sorrow. Let Your joy shine in the morning. In the Name of Jesus, who gave it all, Amen.