It is always a good idea to prepare yourself before a big event. Being focused on your goal can get you to through whatever hardships come along the way. Jesus had a huge goal approaching rapidly — His ultimate goal on earth. It was time to prepare.
It really struck me as I read this passage how swift Jesus’ trial and execution was. As we begin, Jesus and His disciples are sitting down for the Passover feast. Jesus will be dead in less than 24 hours from now! A lot happens between now and then that we know about, thanks to the generous coverage the Gospels give for this 20 hour period.
Jesus knows that He soon will die. He tells the disciples as much during the Passover meal. In that meal, Jesus tells them that He is the Messiah that they have been waiting for. From now on, the Passover will also be a remembrance of Jesus, and a remembrance of what He did in the next 20 hours.
After supper, Jesus and His disciples walked to the garden of Gethsemane while singing a song (Psalm 115-118 probably). In singing this song, Jesus is praising God even though He knows what is going to happen next. Wow. As they walked and sang, Jesus told Peter that he will betray Him three times. Peter didn’t think so (but he did). Knowing that the end was near, Jesus took his final “quiet time” on earth to go off to pray. He took Peter, James and John to wait with Him. The prayer was difficult for Jesus because He knew that soon the sins of the whole world will be upon Him, yet He remained committed to the cause. Peter, James and John had fallen asleep during His first prayer. Jesus woke them up then went to pray again. This happened three times. Jesus finally admonished them to “keep alert, lest they fall into temptation.”
It is at this point that Judas comes, kisses Jesus and Jesus is arrested. A young man wearing a loin cloth is seized. The man gets away, but without his cloth. This is our author Mark. He was there as an eye witness.
If anyone asks you what God did for you recently. Tell them about what He has already done, once and for all. And always keep alert.