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"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death! Stay here and keep watch with me." Matthew 26:38
This request shows the humanness of our Lord. As He entered the darkness — He craved sympathy. He wanted His dearest friends near to Him. It was not because of anything they could really do to help Him. They could not lighten the awful load by so much as a feather's weight. They could not in any way share the burden. But their presence would make Him stronger to endure. The consciousness of tender love close beside Him — would help sustain Him in the fearful anguish.
We all understand this from personal experience. A little child's terror in the darkness, is instantly soothed by a word from the mother or by her touch. A sufferer can endure his pain better if a friend sits beside him and holds his hand. We all crave companionship in life's great trials. These are hints of our Lord's feeling and desire that night when He asked His three best beloved disciples to accompany Him, and begged them to watch with Him, while He entered into His agony.
Jesus no more suffers in any Gethsemane — yet He still calls us to watch with Him. Many of His people suffer, and He would have us come up close beside them and by loving sympathy and tenderness, sustain and strengthen them. He who thus watches with one of the least of Christ's brethren in time of pain or sorrow — watches with Christ Himself.
We can also watch with Christ by being loyal and devoted to Him in every dark hour when His cause languishes, and when many are proving recreant and untrue. The time to be faithful to one's friend — is when the popular clamor is against him. Our loyalty to Christ, in like manner, should be most emphatic when His enemies are most active, and when His friends are fewest. He wants us then to be true. He wants us to keep near Him. Surely we should never pain Him by coldness or lack of interest.