“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” Mark 14.34
It is worth reflecting on the darkness that Jesus was seeking to communicate when he spoke these words in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. This was not Jesus simply having an anxious evening; he was experiencing a darkness and desperation so intense that the light of life itself seemed to be fading.
Sadly there are many people who, to a greater or lesser extent, can relate to his words; many who identify with this hovering, dark cloud. Some may even say that they have been to the brink of what Jesus was sharing. It may be that you know someone whose experience of darkness and the intensity of their pain has led them to seek to extinguish completely the light that seems to be fading from them.
The first thing these words of Jesus convey to us is that he knows the depth of that pain because he has felt it himself. Secondly, since Jesus himself experienced this darkness, those suffering in a similar way should never be tempted to feel guilty or faith-less because of what they are experiencing.
Jesus the Saviour does indeed hold out his hand to those who are experiencing deep darkness, but he does so with the compassion of one who has been there and experienced this inner darkness so common to many. For this reason he can be trusted with our darkest feelings. He has been there.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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