by Pastor Greg Laurie
A Friend Indeed
Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." (Matthew 26:38)
Do you know that sometimes the best thing you can do for a hurting person is to just be there? When I was a young pastor, I had a sermon for everyone. But since then, I have stood with many people who have experienced a tragedy or loss, and I have realized they don't always need a sermon. Often what they need is just a friend. They don't need someone to say, "I know what you are going through," or "Maybe this is the reason." They need someone to just love them, pray for them, and cry with them because of the great sense of loss they are experiencing.
Jesus experienced loneliness. He experienced anguish. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked Peter, James, and John just to be there with Him. But Matthew 26:56 tells us that a short while later, "all the disciples forsook Him and fled." Then, perhaps in the loneliest moment of His life, He cried out from the cross, " 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' " (Matthew 27:46). It is believed by many (myself included) that at that moment, God poured all the sin of humanity on His sinless Son. As the Heavenly Father, who is holy, turned His face, Jesus was separated momentarily from Him. In that moment, Jesus experienced loneliness like we never have known.
So the next time you are feeling down, the next time you are feeling misunderstood, the next time it seems like your friends have forsaken you, know this: Jesus has been there. He knows what it is like. And He will never leave you or forsake you.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.