Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” Mark 14:32.
As Christ left the disciples, bidding them pray for themselves and for Him, He selected three, Peter, James, and John, and went still farther into the seclusion of the garden. These three disciples had been with Him at His transfiguration; they had seen the heavenly visitors, Moses and Elias, talking with Jesus, and Christ desired their presence on this occasion also….
Christ expressed His desire for human sympathy and then withdrew Himself from them about a stone’s cast. Falling upon His face He prayed, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
At the end of an hour, Jesus, feeling the need of human sympathy, rose from the ground and staggered to the place where He had left His three disciples…. He longed to hear from them words that would bring Him some relief in His suffering. But He was disappointed. They did not bring to Him the help He craved. Instead, He “findeth them sleeping.”
Just before He bent His footsteps to the garden, Jesus had said to His disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night”; and they had given Christ the strongest assurances that they would never forsake their Lord, that they would go to prison with Him, and if need be would suffer and die with Him. And poor, self-sufficient Peter had added, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” But the disciples trusted in their own strength; they did not look to the mighty Helper, as Christ had counseled them to do…. Even the ardent Peter, who only a few hours before had declared that he would die with his Lord, was sleeping….
Again the Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and, fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle…. Only a short time before, Christ had poured out His soul in songs of praise in unfaltering accents, as one who was conscious of His Sonship to God…. Now His voice came to them on the still evening air, not in tones of triumph but full of human anguish. So lately He had been serene in His majesty; He had been like a mighty cedar. Now He was as a broken reed….
Although sin was the awful thing that had opened the floodgates of woe upon the world, He would become the propitiation of a race that had willed to sin.—Signs of the Times, December 2, 1897.