Immediately prior to His death on the cross, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane with three of His disciples (Peter, James and John) to pray to his Father. When He arrived there, ‘He began to be troubled and deeply distressed’, Mark chapter 14 verse 33. As the holy and sinless Son of God, the prospect of bearing the judgment of God for our sin on the cross was abhorrent to Him and led Him to pray ‘that if it were possible, THE HOUR might pass from Him’, Mark chapter 14 verse 35. He craved the support of His three disciples at this critical point. His request to them was simple and clear, ‘Stay here and watch’. If they had done so, they would have witnessed His agony and learned something of the great cost of our salvation. If the prospect of Calvary led Him to such depths of agony, how much greater the reality of death on the cross must have been! Sadly, they missed the opportunity of witnessing this moving scene and, instead of watching, they slept throughout! His rebuke, ‘Could not you watch ONE HOUR?’ must have caused them great shame and distress. ‘THE HOUR WAS LATE’, Calvary was near and they had failed Him! Indeed, as He approached them for the third time, He said, ‘THE HOUR HAS COME, behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners’, Mark chapter 14 verse 41.
The scene challenges each one of us as to how long in the course of a week we spend contemplating Christ’s suffering for our sins on the cross. Do we spend at least ONE HOUR?
At the THIRD HOUR His enemies crucified Him; at the SIXTH HOUR there was darkness; at the NINTH HOUR he was forsaken by God, Mark chapter 15 verses 25; 33, 34.
Could you not watch ONE HOUR?