[Listen to the sound file while you read — an inch and a half to the right of this line on this page, marked “Aubre’s Gift”]
The Savior sweats drops of blood in the garden.
Adapted from the accounts of
Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46
He asks for the cup to pass.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to his disciples,
“Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”
A short time later, He said to them,
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me.”
And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James and John), He began to be sorrowful and troubled.
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and fell on His face to pray.
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping.
So He said to Peter,
“Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed,
“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy with sorrow, and they did not know what to answer Him.
So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground. Then He came to the disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, My betrayer is at hand.”
A lonely place filled with shadows overlooking the City of David, the place from which Jesus had sent two of His disciples to prepare the room for the Passover celebration—that is the place of His agony in the garden.
Here He asks His disciples to pray—but they did not pray.
Here He prays for the cup to pass—but it did not pass.
And here He asks that the will of the Father be done—and the will of the Father was done.
For Isaiah wrote (Isaiah 53:10a):
“But the Lord was pleased to crush Him,
. putting Him to grief;”
That night He was crushed for you.
While His disciples slept, His betrayer came.
You won’t sweat blood as you meditate on the suffering of Christ on your behalf. But you can try to imagine the anguish of Christ as He contemplated laying His life down for you in the mystery of His sacrifice for us all.
Lord Jesus, my heart runs away from suffering like water down a hill. I shrink back from suffering at nearly every chance. But You willingly took upon Yourself my sin. Your love for me is amazing and my spirit is bowed in awe of Your matchless sacrifice. Thank You for the wonder of Your love. Thank You for laying down Your life for me. Help me to live the whole of my life for You. In Your steadfast name, I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from Experience the Passion of Christ, Marty Schoenleber, Jr.