Read Mark 14:32-15:47
The rescue mission was lonely and painful. Painful? Well, we might have expected that. But lonely? If we look at earlier experiences in the life of Jesus, we would hardly think it possible!
Crowds had gathered! His ministry had given Him what must have been like first-century “rock star status.” Thousands of men and women had come to listen to His teaching. People sought him out for His input…Nicodemus late at night (Jn. 3)…the Pharisees early one morning (Jn. 8). When people got wind of His ability to heal, they flocked to Him…so much so that He asked them not to tell others. Even those times when He tried to get away for a few minutes/hours of solitude with His Father were often interrupted by a need…a request. Seemingly, time alone was hard to come by and loneliness was not a problem.
Until that night.
As He prayed in Gethsemane, He took three disciples…the ones to whom He was closest…with Him. With them, He shared His heart. But they fell asleep and so He prayed…alone.
After His betrayal in the garden, soldiers carted Him off to a kangaroo court and middle of the night trials. But He went alone. Well, that is not completely true. One nameless man followed at a distance. As people grabbed him by his outer garment, he ran off naked! And then there was Peter, the most outspoken disciple who promised to even go with Christ to death. He cryptically followed Jesus. But standing by the fire, with the heat of interrogation turned up, he denied Christ and fled, leaving Jesus like a lone lamb among the wolves of His opponents.
Even on the cross, Jesus cried out to His Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” For those moments, the Savior of the world was alone. Experiencing the full weight of my sin and the corresponding judgment and punishment for yours, He did what only He could do…took our place, alone.
This rescue mission was something that He alone could accomplish. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)