Just before He was handed over by Judas, “Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
However, twice He returned to find them asleep and rebuked them: “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”… “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Although I will not presume to understand all that God is doing at this moment in history, based on His word in Holy scripture, I can rightly discern this one thing:
Jesus Christ is sending a wake up call to His church.
In the past few months we have witnessed the rain withheld as fires burned a great deal of Australia, swarms of locusts consuming the crops in Africa, and now, a pandemic which has taken thousands of lives, crippled the economy and caused fear to overwhelm the world.
As these things have unfolded before our eyes, many Christians have quoted 2 Chronicles 7:13-15— but I wonder if they understand that God is actually talking to them— because He clearly states:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, IF MY PEOPLE, WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
In this crucial hour, God is calling on His people— He’s not calling the atheist or the agnostic, He’s not calling politicians, the government, or the World Health Organization, He is calling His people— His disciples— to turn from their wicked ways; to humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face.
And look! He has gone to great lengths to stir His people— He has emptied the streets, restaurants, bars, theaters, stadiums, and houses of religion. Now, He confronts us is in our complacency and says: “Could you not keep watch with me one hour?
Are you still sleeping and resting? Look the hour is near — Rise!! Let us go!
As you celebrate Holy Week, remember why Jesus died for you— to save you from your sin so that He could use you to save someone else.
Like Jonah, who slept in the bottom of the boat as the world around him was perishing, it is time to awaken from your indifference— it’s time to repent and pray and call on your God so that He will hear from heaven, have mercy, and heal the land— and in doing so, He will Glorify Himself before the eyes of people who are perishing so that they might turn to Him and live!
Repent Believe Persevere