As people, our imperfections and failings are most visible when examined against the perfection of our Lord and Savior. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus shows strength in the midst of His disciples’ weakness. While Jesus endures deep distress at His upcoming Crucifixion, the disciples are not even able to withstand their sleepiness. While Jesus exhibits obedience to His Father saying, “Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will,” the disciples are unable to follow simple instructions to keep watch and pray. As a result, at the hands of Judas and the religious leaders, Jesus is lead to His greatest Work, while the disciples go down a path of failure and betrayal of their Lord.
Jesus would lay down His life at the hands of sinful people. And yet, in the midst of humanity’s greatest failure, He is faithful to show His strength. This is the wonder of God’s Grace. Jesus’ Death on the Cross shows us not only the perfection and the Glory of Jesus, but also by comparison, our own sinfulness, our desperate need for a Savior that God, in His Mercy, provided. Seeing Jesus for Who He is helps us to see more clearly the severity of our sin. Likewise, the realization of our failures and shortcomings – our sin – emphasizes our understanding of the greatness of our God.
We are not perfect like Jesus. In comparing Christ to His disciples, the disparity between the two is great. However, we are still encouraged, even commanded by Jesus to do the things which are difficult to do. “Stay awake and pray,” He says, “so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” But if we are not strong, not surrendered to Jesus, not perfect like Jesus, how then can we do the things He asks of us? While we may not be able to do on our own the things Jesus calls us to do, we are able to do these things with His Help. We do well to know how far short we fall from God’s Glory without Jesus, and how Great Jesus is. For then, we are able to see more clearly how much we need His help in all that we do.