Could you not watch with me one hour?

Adeze Ojukwu

‘Could you not watch with Me one hour?’

Jesus voiced these emotion-laden words at his weakest moment. As Christians prepare for this year’s Easter, these agonizing remarks, resonate very loudly.

Jesus needed the compassion and care of his closest associates, as he ruminated over the excruciating pain, that awaited him at Golgotha. He got none. Instead the master was deserted.

The captors finally held him bound.
The crowd for which, he toiled to heal and feed, during Hus three-year ministry, mocked and jeered him.

His disciples had failed him, when he needed them most. At best some sympathetic women, gazed from afar, as recorded in Mathew 27: 55-56.

‘And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.’

At hus death, some succour came, through a man identified as Joseph of Arimathea, as stated in Mathew 27: 57-60.

‘Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.’

Indisputably, suffering of any kind, comes with shame and sorrow. Jesus, despite being God, experienced this bitter side of mortality. It was same for Joseph and Job, at their hour of anguish and agony.

These patriarchs were betrayed by their friends, allies and even relatives.
This is the terrible ordeal faced by many people, even today. Some are abandoned, by family and friends, due to sickness, penury, disaster and loss.

It is quite unfortunate, especially for Christians, who are enjoying God’s grace to show little or no love to the needy.
Sadly many religious leaders and bigots offer little or no assistance to the needy or those struck down by the vicissitudes of life.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates the hypocrisy and selfishness of many clerics and men of God.
Today, Jesus is still asking the same question, when we fail to empathize and help one another.

‘Could you not watch with Me one hour?’
Indeed one of the biggest challenges of the Christian is the inability to help one another, during the hour of temptation, trial and test.

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Everyone seems to be running a race of I, Me and Myself. Life is often seen from the prism of self. But the core of Christianity is love. Yet it is most difficult.

The world has become more individualistic and materialistic, hence the craze for wealth, fame and properties has blinded many eyes and bound many hearts.
Beloved friends and brethren, kindly show a little kindness today, and await the blessings that will follow.

Life is brief, ephemeral and transient. This earth with its glories will pass away. If heaven is man’s eternal home, then let us invest in virtues and values of eternal worth.

The bible is replete with verses on love such as these:

  • Let brotherly love continue.
  • Love one another.
  • Love is the greatest.
  • God is love.

It is right to ponder, awhile on the love of Jesus Christ and how to exemplify this love, even in this Lenten Season and Easter period.

Believers must have the humility , to ask God for grace and courage to empathize distressed and weak people. Sometimes one may be rebuffed or receive little or no appreciation for the good do being done.

But friends God the great rewarder will not forget the sacrifices of labour, as stated in Hebrew 6:10.

‘For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.’
It would be great to ponder, over the words of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, before his crucifixion on Calvary’s tree, scripted in Mathew 26: 38-42.

‘Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”’

. Ojukwu, a journalist and publisher wrote this article, as part of a series of articles on Easter, as well as Christian evangelism. Kindly send feedback through [email protected]

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