Mark 14:34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.”
Why? Why was Jesus so heavy-hearted that it was as if He was almost dying? It was because that was exactly what has happening to Him. He was facing the certainty of His death on the cross. It was why He came to earth and now it was time. He knew what He had to do, but as a man, it was something He didn’t want to do. Most of us can understand the heaviness of His heart. Death is something we don’t welcome with a light heart most of the time. He knew the excruciating agony of the cross that awaited Him. He had predicted it 700 years before through Isaiah the prophet. He was going to suffer greatly and the pain was going to be nearly unbearable.
What was even more pressing on Jesus was that He knew that in just a few hours He would be facing hell head on. Jesus knew the horrors of hell. He knew that it was the home of the worst evil that ever was. He knew that He had to face Satan in order to overcome him. It was not going to a very enjoyable experience. As God, Jesus had never known evil in the way He was about to know it. Yet, He knew He must. There was no other way for us to be able to be saved. Sin had to be conquered.
Jesus knew that He had to pray this through. It was not something He could do without all the strength and power He could get from God. He could not do it by sheer willpower as a man; He had to be totally committed to it as God.
He took with Him the inner circle of the disciples to pray alongside of Him. He wanted them to support Him as He sought to be totally yielded to God’s will in carrying out the will of God on the cross and in the pits of hell. Yet, His most trusted friends let Him down. Not only did they not pray, they slept through it all! May it never be said of us that we fell asleep on duty when someone asks us to pray with them and for them during their time of great need.