XXXIII. Gethsemane.

MATT. xxvi. 42. “O My Father,
if this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, Thy will
be done.”

THE Passion of the garden is the deepest mystery of the
Redeemer’s incarnation—a fiercer conflict than His temp-
tation in the wilderness—a greater anguish than His
endurance of the cross. It is part of His work of redemp-
tion. A transaction between His atoning soul and God,
over which a veil is drawn. He “treads the winepress
alone.” But let us look at the human aspect of the Re-
deemer’s sorrow, and see how a pious human heart could
pray under it, and accept it when it is clearly God’s will
that it should be borne.
I. The cup. Some of its ingredients were peculiar to
Him as the Mediator for human sin; expressed in such
passages as “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him,” “the Lord
hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” “the hour and
power of darkness,” “the prince of this world cometh”;
but there were in it ingredients of sorrow, common to
human life. The feebleness of friends, the forsaking of
His disciples, the denial of Peter, the treason of Judas, the
human sorrow of parting with His earthly friends,—all
these, mingled with a human shrinking from death and
the shame of the cross, were in the cup.
II. The conflict. He did not drink the cup without
desires and prayers that if possible it might pass from Him,
and in such inward conflict there was no sin. He made
His prayer conditional upon its being God’s will. He
keeps hold firmly of God’s fatherhood—”O My Father.”
There is no shadow of distrust upon His filial soul, nor
suspicion of His Father’s love.
III. The victory. He did drink the cup which it was
not possible should pass. He came to do God’s will; and
though His flesh cried out in fear, He never thought of
failing to do that will. It was the victory of perfect self-
sacrifice. “Not My will but Thine be done.” This victory
was won by prayer. He was “heard in that He feared.”
He was strengthened to drink the cup. His strength was
in His weakness, in the entireness with which He cast
Himself upon His Father. The Gethsemane cup is put
into every hand in turn, and sooner or later we must all
cry out in our agony, and pray with our faces to the
ground; but if we cry in the spirit of the Master, we shall
have no Gethsemane without its strengthening angel in it.
Christ stooped to our human sorrow that He might raise
us to His divine resignation, and when He asks us, “Can
ye drink of the cup that I drank of?” inspired by His
example, and relying upon His help, we humbly say, “We
are able.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

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