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Daily Devotional

Digging deep into the Word
06

The Sufferings of Christ, Pt. #3 - Christ's Supplication

Average reading time is about 2 and a half minutes

Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Matthew 26:38

Jesus had often resorted to Gethsemane with his disciples for meditation and prayer. They were all well acquainted with his sacred retreat. Even Judas knew where to lead the murderous throng, that he might betray Jesus into their hands. Never before had the Saviour visited the spot with a heart so full of sorrow. It was not bodily suffering from which the Son of God shrank, and which wrung from his lips, in the presence of his disciples these mournful words: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." "Tarry ye here," said he, "and watch with me."

He went a little distance from his disciples, leaving them within hearing, and fell on his face, and prayed. "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." The sins of the lost world were upon him, overwhelmed him. It was a sense of his Father's frown, in consequence of sin, which rent the heart of the Son of God with such piercing agony, and forced the great blood-drops from his brow down his pale cheeks.

He rose from his prostrate position, and came to his disciples, and found them asleep. He said unto Peter, "What! could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." At the most important time, the disciples were found sleeping—at the time when Jesus had made a special request for them to watch with him. He knew that severe conflicts and terrible temptations were before his disciples. He took them with him, that they might be a strength to him, and that the events they should witness that night, and the lessons of instruction they should receive, might be indelibly printed upon their memories. This was necessary, that their faith might not fail, but be strengthened for the test just before them.

But instead of watching with Christ, they were burdened with sorrow, and fell asleep. Even the ardent Peter was asleep, who, only a few hours before, had declared that he would suffer, and, if need be, die for his Lord. At the most critical moment, when the Son of God was in need of their sympathy and heartfelt prayers, they were found asleep. They lost much by thus sleeping. Our Saviour designed to fortify them for the severe test of their faith to which they would soon be subjected. If they had spent the mournful period in watching with the dear Saviour, and in prayer to God, Peter would not have been left to his own feeble strength to deny his Lord.

The Son of God went away the second time, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done." And again he came to his disciples, and found them sleeping. Their eyes were heavy. The Saviour turned sadly the second time from his sleeping disciples, and prayed the third time saying the same words. Then he came to them, and said, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."



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