In Mathew Jesus states, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”. In Luke it is described as anguish. In Latin the meaning of anguish "angere" includes the definition “to choke”. In Greek, the word is thlipsis, which means to crush, press, compress, or squeeze. This gives the picture of something being crushed, pressed, or squeezed under a great weight. It is used to denote physical, mental and spiritual distress. Jesus knows he is about to die and is in anguish, “overwhelmed to the point of death”. He invites his closest disciples to accompany Him to pray. Notice however, what he asks them to pray for, not Him, but their own temptations? If you remember from last week, Jesus had informed Peter he would deny Him three times. However, instead of praying, Jesus found the disciples sleeping? The book of mark reveals Jesus calling Peter by his previous name, Simon. He tells them the “spirit is willing, but the body is weak”. By calling him Simon, He is reiterating the temptation of the flesh. Can you imagine the disappointment, the frustration, and the very heartache Jesus felt? Even the people closest to Him could not understand the magnitude of the situation. However, don't miss the text in Luke 22:43, "An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. I have goose bumps just typing those words. In this very tender moment when Jesus is overwhelmed to the point of death, His sweat is like drops of blood, and he is almost unrecognizable because of His anguish—God provides strength.
Do you feel it? This is it --the pinnacle, the apex, the climax? A decision has to be made. Jesus is in a body just like yours and mine. He was literally at the point of death, and God strengthens Him to carry out the fate of the cross. When hard times come and you can't go on; HE CAN. He will find us in our darkest hour, and pull us to the light. Philippians 1:19 reads, “what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” Not only will God pull us from the darkness, He will deliver you. He will literally take those dark places in life, and make you passionate about seeing others delivered from them. My mammal at this point would say, “GLORY, Praise Jesus”, and I would have to agree.
Psalms 30:11 says, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
Deuteronomy 23:5 “However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”
Notice in all these verses, God is literally turning one into the other. The Hebrew word used is hapak- to turn, change, or convert. He is literally saying wailing to dancing, sackcloth to joy, and curses to blessings. Please hear me today. If you allow God to touch your life, He will not leave you the same.
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6