For his prayer in Gethsemane,
Jesus went off to a distance
away from his three disciples.

And he kept his distance from his disciples
not once, but three times tonight.

Of course Jesus knew he had to be alone
for prayer,
but what’s remarkable is
that to be alone
was probably the very last thing
that Jesus wanted to do tonight.

He knew very well that this same night
in this very garden,
he would be arrested,
and his great suffering would begin,
leading to that painful
and humiliating death on the cross.

He was afraid.
And the last thing he wanted was
to be far from his friends.

As he had told his disciples
before he left them to pray:
“My soul is very sorrowful
even to death!”

Three times that night
he kept going back,
trying to close the distance
between him and his disciples
because he so needed their support
and company.
Remember these were his closest friends–
Peter, James, and John.

But the three times Jesus went back to them,
the three were sound asleep.
Despite repeated warnings from Jesus,
they were virtually clueless
and blissfully unaware
of what awaited them.

Little did they know
that when they would wake,
their world would have turned
completely upside down.

Even if the Lord didn’t want to,
even if he himself needed to be near them,
that night in Gethsemane,
especially upon his arrest,
our Lord would allow himself
to be separated from his disciples.