Mark 14:32-41; Luke 22:39-46

“The agony in the garden opens a window on to the greater agony of the cross.  If to bear man’s sin and God’s wrath was so terrible in anticipation, what must the reality have been like?” (The Cross of Christ, 80)

How lonely were you that night in the garden?

When your knees hit that dirt and you fell face to the ground, I imagine the isolation of your call was almost more than you could bear (Matthew 26:39).

Those who doubt you were fully man must have never observed what you endured that night before the cross.  You never disobeyed the Father, nor did you rebel against His will.  But it is clear that the magnitude of what you would experience weighed more heavily upon you in those hours than any other time we see in Scripture. 

I cannot imagine the sorrow and dread that overwhelmed you and manifested itself in physical ways (Luke 22:44).  It was appropriate that the name of the garden meant “olive press,” for your “crushing” seemed to begin in that grove of trees (Isaiah 53:5).

You knew everything that was before you.  Your grief that night was not just over the physical suffering that awaited you, nor the emotional pain of betrayal, humiliation, and rejection that loomed. 

You yourself would bear the wrath of God on our behalf.  And, like that song says, the Father would turn His face away.

You were with Him before the world began (John 17:5).

You were in Him, and He was in you (John 17:21).

You are one (John 17:22).

And yet it had to be this way.

I am so sorry.

And I am so grateful.

It brings me to my knees.

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death … Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  (Mark 14:34,36)