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R Myers

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The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« on: April 14, 2001, 09:12:00 AM »
Chap. 74 - Gethsemane


Listen to   Gethsemane



 


     In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims' tents was hushed into silence.   
     Jesus had been earnestly conversing with His disciples and instructing them; but as He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. He had often visited this spot for meditation and prayer; but never with a heart so full of sorrow as upon this night of His last agony. Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God's presence. When in conflict with men who were inspired by the very spirit of Satan, He could say, "He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." John 8:29. But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father's love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." 
     As they approached the garden, the disciples had marked the change that came over their Master. Never before had they seen Him so utterly sad and silent. As He proceeded, this strange sadness deepened; yet they dared not question Him as to the cause. His form swayed as if He were about to fall. Upon reaching the garden, the disciples looked anxiously for His usual place of retirement, that their Master might rest. Every step that He now took was with labored effort. He groaned aloud, as if suffering under the pressure of a terrible burden. Twice His companions supported Him, or He would have fallen to the earth. 
     Near the entrance to the garden, Jesus left all but three of the disciples, bidding them pray for themselves and for Him. With Peter, James, and John, He entered its secluded recesses. These three disciples were Christ's closest companions. They had beheld His glory on the mount of transfiguration; they had seen Moses and Elijah talking with Him; they had heard the voice from heaven; now in His great struggle, Christ desired their presence near Him. Often they had passed the night with Him in this retreat. On these occasions, after a season of watching and prayer, they would sleep undisturbed at a little distance from their Master, until He awoke them in the morning to go forth anew to labor. But now He desired them to spend the night with Him in prayer. Yet He could not bear that even they should witness the agony He was to endure.  {DA 686.1} 
     "Tarry ye here," He said, "and watch with Me." 
     He went a little distance from them--not so far but that they could both see and hear Him--and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man's sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.   
     Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, "Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.   
     As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. In the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ's ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ's; he himself would be overthrown and cast out. But if Christ could be overcome, the earth would become Satan's kingdom, and the human race would be forever in his power. With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ's soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God.   
     And what was to be gained by this sacrifice? How hopeless appeared the guilt and ingratitude of men! In its hardest features Satan pressed the situation upon the Redeemer: The people who claim to be above all others in temporal and spiritual advantages have rejected You. They are seeking to destroy You, the foundation, the center and seal of the promises made to them as a peculiar people. One of Your own disciples, who has listened to Your instruction, and has been among the foremost in church activities, will betray You. One of Your most zealous followers will deny You. All will forsake You. Christ's whole being abhorred the thought. That those whom He had undertaken to save, those whom He loved so much, should unite in the plots of Satan, this pierced His soul. The conflict was terrible. Its measure was the guilt of His nation, of His accusers and betrayer, the guilt of a world lying in wickedness. The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God's wrath against sin was crushing out His life. 
     Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me." Yet even now He adds, "Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." 
     The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. This longing Christ felt to the very depths of His being. In the supreme agony of His soul He came to His disciples with a yearning desire to hear some words of comfort from those whom He had so often blessed and comforted, and shielded in sorrow and distress. The One who had always had words of sympathy for them was now suffering superhuman agony, and He longed to know that they were praying for Him and for themselves. How dark seemed the malignity of sin! Terrible was the temptation to let the human race bear the consequences of its own guilt, while He stood innocent before God. If He could only know that His disciples understood and appreciated this, He would be strengthened. 
     Rising with painful effort, He staggered to the place where He had left His companions. But He "findeth them asleep." Had He found them praying, He would have been relieved. Had they been seeking refuge in God, that satanic agencies might not prevail over them, He would have been comforted by their steadfast faith. But they had not heeded the repeated warning, "Watch and pray." At first they had been much troubled to see their Master, usually so calm and dignified, wrestling with a sorrow that was beyond comprehension. They had prayed as they heard the strong cries of the sufferer. They did not intend to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor which they might have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation. 
     Just before He bent His footsteps to the garden, Jesus had said to the disciples, "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night." They had given Him the strongest assurance that they would go with Him to prison and to death. And poor, self-sufficient Peter had added, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." Mark 14:27, 29. But the disciples trusted to themselves. They did not look to the mighty Helper as Christ had counseled them to do. Thus when the Saviour was most in need of their sympathy and prayers, they were found asleep. Even Peter was sleeping.   
     And John, the loving disciple who had leaned upon the breast of Jesus, was asleep. Surely, the love of John for his Master should have kept him awake. His earnest prayers should have mingled with those of his loved Saviour in the time of His supreme sorrow. The Redeemer had spent entire nights praying for His disciples, that their faith might not fail. Should Jesus now put to James and John the question He had once asked them, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" they would not have ventured to answer, "We are able." Matthew 20:22. 
     The disciples awakened at the voice of Jesus, but they hardly knew Him, His face was so changed by anguish. Addressing Peter, Jesus said, "Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." The weakness of His disciples awakened the sympathy of Jesus. He feared that they would not be able to endure the test which would come upon them in His betrayal and death. He did not reprove them, but said, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Even in His great agony, He was seeking to excuse their weakness. "The spirit truly is ready," He said, "but the flesh is weak."   
     Again the Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle. His suffering was even greater than before. As the agony of soul came upon Him, "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish. From their leafy branches dropped heavy dew upon His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness. 
     A short time before, Jesus had stood like a mighty cedar, withstanding the storm of opposition that spent its fury upon Him. Stubborn wills, and hearts filled with malice and subtlety, had striven in vain to confuse and overpower Him. He stood forth in divine majesty as the Son of God. Now He was like a reed beaten and bent by the angry storm. He had approached the consummation of His work a conqueror, having at each step gained the victory over the powers of darkness. As one already glorified, He had claimed oneness with God. In unfaltering accents He had poured out His songs of praise. He had spoken to His disciples in words of courage and tenderness. Now had come the hour of the power of darkness. Now His voice was heard on the still evening air, not in tones of triumph, but full of human anguish. The words of the Saviour were borne to the ears of the drowsy disciples, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done." 
     The first impulse of the disciples was to go to Him; but He had bidden them tarry there, watching unto prayer. When Jesus came to them, He found them still sleeping. Again He had felt a longing for companionship, for some words from His disciples which would bring relief, and break the spell of darkness that well-nigh overpowered Him. But their eyes were heavy; "neither wist they what to answer Him." His presence aroused them. They saw His face marked with the bloody sweat of agony, and they were filled with fear. His anguish of mind they could not understand. "His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Isaiah 52:14. 
     Turning away, Jesus sought again His retreat, and fell prostrate, overcome by the horror of a great darkness. The humanity of the Son of God trembled in that trying hour. He prayed not now for His disciples that their faith might not fail, but for His own tempted, agonized soul. The awful moment had come--that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done." 
     Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world's Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: "If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done."   
     Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. 
     But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour's agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin. 
     The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close. Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption. The powers of good and evil waited to see what answer would come to Christ's thrice-repeated prayer. Angels had longed to bring relief to the divine sufferer, but this might not be. No way of escape was found for the Son of God. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God's presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ's hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father's love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved. 
     Christ's agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man. 
     The sleeping disciples had been suddenly awakened by the light surrounding the Saviour. They saw the angel bending over their prostrate Master. They saw him lift the Saviour's head upon his bosom, and point toward heaven. They heard his voice, like sweetest music, speaking words of comfort and hope. The disciples recalled the scene upon the mount of transfiguration. They remembered the glory that in the temple had encircled Jesus, and the voice of God that spoke from the cloud. Now that same glory was again revealed, and they had no further fear for their Master. He was under the care of God; a mighty angel had been sent to protect Him. Again the disciples in their weariness yield to the strange stupor that overpowers them. Again Jesus finds them sleeping.   
     Looking sorrowfully upon them He says, "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."   
     Even as He spoke these words, He heard the footsteps of the mob in search of Him, and said, "Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me."   
     No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples He said, "Whom seek ye?" They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus replied, "I am He." As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour's face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground. 
     The angel withdrew, and the light faded away. Jesus had opportunity to escape, but He remained, calm and self-possessed. As one glorified He stood in the midst of that hardened band, now prostrate and helpless at His feet. The disciples looked on, silent with wonder and awe.   
     But quickly the scene changed. The mob started up. The Roman soldiers, the priests and Judas, gathered about Christ. They seemed ashamed of their weakness, and fearful that He would yet escape. Again the question was asked by the Redeemer, "Whom seek ye?" They had had evidence that He who stood before them was the Son of God, but they would not be convinced. To the question, "Whom seek ye?" again they answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." The Saviour then said, "I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way"--pointing to the disciples. He knew how weak was their faith, and He sought to shield them from temptation and trial. For them He was ready to sacrifice Himself.  {DA 695.1}
     Judas the betrayer did not forget the part he was to act. When the mob entered the garden, he had led the way, closely followed by the high priest. To the pursuers of Jesus he had given a sign, saying, "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast." Matthew 26:48. Now he pretends to have no part with them. Coming close to Jesus, he takes His hand as a familiar friend. With the words, "Hail, Master," he kisses Him repeatedly, and appears to weep as if in sympathy with Him in His peril. 
     Jesus said to him, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" His voice trembled with sorrow as He added, "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" This appeal should have aroused the conscience of the betrayer, and touched his stubborn heart; but honor, fidelity, and human tenderness had forsaken him. He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to Satan, and he had no power to resist him. Jesus did not refuse the traitor's kiss.
     The mob grew bold as they saw Judas touch the person of Him who had so recently been glorified before their eyes. They now laid hold of Jesus, and proceeded to bind those precious hands that had ever been employed in doing good.   
     The disciples had thought that their Master would not suffer Himself to be taken. For the same power that had caused the mob to fall as dead men could keep them helpless, until Jesus and His companions should escape. They were disappointed and indignant as they saw the cords brought forward to bind the hands of Him whom they loved. Peter in his anger rashly drew his sword and tried to defend his Master, but he only cut off an ear of the high priest's servant. When Jesus saw what was done, He released His hands, though held firmly by the Roman soldiers, and saying, "Suffer ye thus far," He touched the wounded ear, and it was instantly made whole. He then said to Peter, "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?"--a legion in place of each one of the disciples. Oh, why, the disciples thought, does He not save Himself and us? Answering their unspoken thought, He added, "But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" "The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"   
     The official dignity of the Jewish leaders had not prevented them from joining in the pursuit of Jesus. His arrest was too important a matter to be trusted to subordinates; the wily priests and elders had joined the temple police and the rabble in following Judas to Gethsemane. What a company for those dignitaries to unite with--a mob that was eager for excitement, and armed with all kinds of implements, as if in pursuit of a wild beast!   
     Turning to the priests and elders, Christ fixed upon them His searching glance. The words He spoke they would never forget as long as life should last. They were as the sharp arrows of the Almighty. With dignity He said: You come out against Me with swords and staves as you would against a thief or a robber. Day by day I sat teaching in the temple. You had every opportunity of laying hands upon Me, and you did nothing. The night is better suited to your work. "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." 
     The disciples were terrified as they saw Jesus permit Himself to be taken and bound. They were offended that He should suffer this humiliation to Himself and them. They could not understand His conduct, and they blamed Him for submitting to the mob. In their indignation and fear, Peter proposed that they save themselves. Following this suggestion, "they all forsook Him, and fled." But Christ had foretold this desertion, "Behold," He had said, "the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." John 16:32.

Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2001, 10:27:00 AM »
Desire of Ages
Chapter 74
G e t h s e m a n e

The Pesach meal was over. The Sabbath of Pesach had begun. The 11 and Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane. Deeply sadden by the burden he carried, He asked the others to wait while he went further away with James, John, and Peter. These ones he had received much comfort from for their receptiveness to things of the Kingdom. He desired now for them to spend the night in prayer with Him. Having someone on watch with you, when struggling against the attacks of Satan, is encouragement all humans could do with. The mental anguish by the suggestive negativism's of the enemy, which were being bombarded at Jesus in that very moment, should not be underestimated. Inspiration of SOP has these devilish mental assaults listed in this chapter. His agony in prayer while alone caused a yearning for human sympathy in His suffering. Words of comfort were desirious by Jesus from his friends, but He instead sighed out "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

Hoping to find steadfast faith in action, Jesus got up and went to where the three had stayed as he told them to wait there and be on 'watch'. Earlier He had taught them about the power of breaking down evil fortresses when one is linked to God in prayer. Now in Gethsemane they had seen him a stone's throw away agonizing in prayer. Was that not enough of an example for them to sympathize and pray to fight invisible foes with Him? But what did Jesus discover when he got up from His knees and went to them ? Three brethren who went to sleep on praying. The warning to 'watch and pray' blown to the wind. They had let themselves be overcome. "They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation." This teaches us how willing the spirit of our is to serve our fleshly weakness when temptation woos us.

Going back to pray, Jesus experienced agony of soul affliction. "He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. .......He sees the power of sin. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. ...His prayer now breathes only submission : If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done."    

"The sleeping disciples had been suddenly awakened by the light surrounding the Saviour. They saw the angel bending over their prostrate Master. They saw him lift the Saviour's head upon his bosom, and point toward heaven. They heard his voice, like sweetest music, speaking words of comfort and hope.....a mighty angel had been sent to protect Him." But for some reason the disciples went back to sleep. Then Jesus heard the mob coming. He sharply told the boys to get up. All other disciples had now come and gathered around Him.

A most interesting event occured. The divine spiritual strengthening of Jesus from His Father was such, after having been so intensely interacting with the presence of God in prayer, that the mob with evil intent approached not knowing what was going to happen or who He was.

"Whom seek ye ?"
"Jesus of Nazareth."
"I am He."

The mob moved forward to arrest Him. The Angel of comfort ministering to Jesus just a few minutes before rushed between Him and the mob. "A divine light illuminated the Saviour's face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back, priests, elders, soldiers and even Judas fell as dead men to the ground."

The reality was that they had confronted the power of God while being sinners.
The false counterfeit of today being imitated by suggestive trans-hypnotic words is called 'slain in the spirit'. What we see on TV or in certain modern theology meetings is pyschology methods applied for glorification of an one man show.

The fallen men came out of the stupor and stood up. The same question game came up again.
"Whom seek ye ?"
"Jesus of Nazareth"
"I have told you that I am He. If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way."

That meaning the disciples present. Judas did not identify with the disciples anymore so to make matters clear with the religious leaders whom he accompanied to do Jesus in, he proceeded to give the arranged sign. The famous 'Judas-kiss'.  He had fallen so far in his apostasy that all honor, fidelity and human tenderness when showing affection in greeting didn't touch his stubborn cold heart to repentance from his treacherous quisling act. "He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to Satan, and he had no power to resist him."

Alarmed at the cords tightening the arms of his beloved Rabbi, Peter draws impulsively his sword in a rash moment of defense. The high Priest's servant ducked at the right angle to avoid death but got his ear cut off nevertheless. All were shocked. Jesus moved in and touched the ear. A miracle was preformed. All was whole again. In his words He indicated that violence to solve problems will only bring more violence. What went as arrows piercing the heart were the words of rebuke to the mob. They had had every opportunity publicly to arrest him. But they instead were doing their arrest away from the eyes of public consent in an act of cowardly force. This showed the work of darkness in the hour of darkness.

Seeing that Jesus was not going to exert force to reveal his power as king, the disciples all took off and fled to hide from personal persecution. As hurting as that must have been for our Lord, He was not left alone. The Father was with Him.

~~~
Joan
~~~


[This message has been edited by Joan (edited 04-15-2001).]


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2001, 08:33:00 PM »
Sister Joan, I believe Jesus felt He was alone. He did in fact hurt, but the fact that His disciples left Him was not as great a pain as the separation that had taken place between Him and His Father. This is the great struggle and it began and had its most painful impact in the garden.  This is too important a happening to be mistaken. Jesus is suffering at this point on account of my sins and yours sins and this means that He is separated from His Father. Yes, His Father is there, but Jesus cannot know this. His Father has separated Himself from His innocent Son. Jesus became sin for us and when He took upon Himself any sin, it separated Him from the Father, just as it does us.  Jesus trod the winepress alone.  :(  He was bore our guilt and by His stripes we are healed.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2001, 11:54:00 PM »

As I read my bible's account of the Gethsemane event I could visualize the human reaction of aloneness as he prayed, as the disciples slept without watchfully sharing the fight or giving comfort to his sorrow almost unto death. I see Jesus in anticipation of the task, Him weighing up the possibility of failing because of the awfulness of experiencing the unbearable burden of everyones guilt put to Him. I can also imagine the anguish of his knowing that a moment of separation from the Father for even a minute would be the result. Yes, I understood that He was going through anxiety for what was coming soon.

But I can not see in my bible that the sin of mankind was laid on Him in Gethsemane and that there the Father turned His back on His son.

Joan


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2001, 05:15:00 AM »
"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." Matt. 26:38 is as they are entering the garden and here we hear Jesus discussing His death because of the His separation from His Father. The words of Zechariah best describe what Jesus is going through as He prays for His Father to remove the cup if it be possible. "Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts." Zech. 13:7. The blood that flowed from Christ in the garden reveals the agony of mind as the Father has separated Himself from His  Son because of our sins.

Re-read the chapter, my sister, and you will see more clearly the separation. "Jesus had been earnestly conversing with His disciples and instructing them; but as He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. He had often visited this spot for meditation and prayer; but never with a heart so full of sorrow as upon this night of His last agony. Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God's presence. When in conflict with men who were inspired by the very spirit of Satan, He could say, 'He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.' John 8:29. But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all."  

"Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.

But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour's agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin."

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2001, 01:22:00 PM »

Yes, I did read these words. More than a few times because I was looking for clearness that the guilt of humanity was laid upon him as He was in Gethsemane. I approached this part of description of his sadness and apparent physical change as being due to the 'anxiety of anticipation' due to:
1. The gamble of possibly failing and the most horrible envisionment what would take place if He himself failed with this mission
2. The foreknowledge of his prophetic sight envisioning the agony of the cross with the soul wrenching torment of being separated from the Father 'when' the burden of guilt is put upon Him there and then on the cross.

The sweat as drops of blood showed broken capillaries mingling blood with persiration from great stress. Then came the angelic comfort. He was composed as He met with the
arrest and showed composure as he approached his interegation. There at that time was no evidence that he was carrying the guilt of the whole human race. I see no possibility of Jesus even walking a few steps in normalcy if his precious pure sinless soul carried for the next 12-15 hours the sin-guilt of billions from the prayer in Gethsemane to Calvary. One would have to break down and die from such a soul wrenching burden (not even mentioning going crazy from such an experience)

I see the Father with Him until that moment when God actually did place the whole of every sin mankind committed past-present-future onto the Lamb while He was on the cross and then the pitch-black darkness came in the afternoon. Then came the cry of "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me."

Joan

[This message has been edited by Joan (edited 04-17-2001).]


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2001, 09:23:00 PM »
My dear sister, I am not saying anything past the fact that He did not have the Father's presence to comfort Him. "But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's sustaining presence." He had to tred the wine press alone. In another place we are told that His greatest suffering was in Gethsemane. There the cup trembled in His hand. And none were there to comfort Him.  :(

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2001, 11:44:00 PM »

Yes, it is an awful moment when we become aware how lightly we as believers overlook the passion of suffering our Lord took upon himself. To study regulary those last days of Christ softens the heart, breaks pride of independnt living apart from God, and deepens the gratitude to Jesus in our hearts.

I am looking forward to posting impressions of what I become while reading the next two chapters....
Joan


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2001, 06:43:00 AM »
Amen.  It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each contemplating the life of Jesus, especially the closing scenes. It is here that we learn of God's great love and sacrifice for us. Here we see and experience grace. Here is where self may die, at the foot of the cross.

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2001, 06:49:00 AM »
In reading this chapter again this morning I was impressed again with the light we have been given in regards to overcoming temptations. In this chapter we are given an important insight into what we must do in order to withstand temptation. Many times we think we can summon up enough will power to resist sin in and of ourselves. We shall always fail. It is not in ourselves that we find this power, but rather in Christ.

"Rising with painful effort, He staggered to
the place where He had left His companions.
But He "findeth them asleep." Had He found
them praying, He would have been relieved. Had they been seeking refuge in God, that satanic agencies might not prevail over them, He would have been comforted by their steadfast faith. But they had not heeded
the repeated warning, "Watch and pray." At
first they had been much troubled to see their Master, usually so calm and dignified, wrestling with a sorrow that was beyond
comprehension. They had prayed as they heard
the strong cries of the sufferer. They did not intend to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor which they might have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation."

It appears that God has left something for us to do in our fight with evil.

In His love and grace,   Richard

[This message has been edited by Richard Myers (edited 12-13-2001).]

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2001, 10:00:00 AM »
We all have times where we get a small "taste" of what Jesus experienced in Gesthemane.
One of the things that hit me the most about this scene in the Garden Of Gesthemane, was how the disciples fell asleep, and left Jesus to continue alone in his trial.

It is often the case, where church members today who have grievous trials to bear, cannot trust the details to human ears; for fear of being misunderstood, or further discouraged.

Other people sometimes let us down, disappoint us, and diminish our hope.

Let us look at a good example of this, where Ellen White has a similar experience, and then I would like to continue, and look in more detail, at the Savior, coming to the Garden alone:

1T.016.001
"Arriving at home, I spent most of the long hours of darkness in prayer and tears. One reason that led me to conceal my feelings from my friends was the dread of hearing a word of discouragement.

My hope was so small, and my faith so weak, that I feared if another took a similar view of my condition, it would plunge me into despair. Yet I longed for someone to tell me what I should do to be saved, what steps to take to meet my Saviour and give myself entirely up to the Lord.

I regarded it a great thing to be a Christian, and felt that it required some peculiar effort on my part."

(to be continued).

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(2 Tim.2:19).

Mr. DavidTBattler


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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2001, 05:57:00 PM »
Good point, Brother David.  Jesus desired human sympathy and we too, will find ourselves desiring others to understand our trials. Like Jesus there will be times when we shall not be comforted by human friends. We are too look to Jesus as our example and our Comforter. He is well able!

We should also be concerned that there is opportunity to give this "human" sympathy to those that are experiencing great trial. Let us ask Jesus to reveal this that we may be human channels that He may work through to bless others.

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2001, 10:07:00 PM »
Brother Richard

Even though your post was brief; it spoke to my heart; and I thank you.

It is said that perhaps Jesus' greatest suffering, may have been in Gesthemane.

Where does the "greatest suffering" occur in the believer's life?

"His experience is to be our's."  (DA 363).

I am working on some ideas for my question and will come back soon.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2001, 09:48:00 AM »
While we are waiting, here is a short statement that may be encouraging along these lines. "When the servants of God are tried and tempted, and are disappointed in obtaining human sympathy, let them remember Jesus in His hour of greatest agony in Gethsemane. His disciples did not watch with Him one hour. Sleep over-powered their senses. The King of glory, the Son of the everlasting Father, left His royal throne, clothed His divinity with humanity, and became 'a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.' No man's trials or sacrifice could compare with those which His suffering spirit endured. The Majesty of heaven walked through midnight blackness, and for what? 'Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame.' It was to redeem fallen man. He endured the overwhelming weight of woe in order that He might bring many sons and daughters unto glory. He suffered rejection, coldness, contempt, from those He came to bless: persecution, betrayal, crucifixion, from those He humiliated Himself to save. The whole flood-tide of human woe beat upon His soul."
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2001, 12:16:00 AM »

Knowing from experience what it means to be in a situation where I needed help, comfort and assistance from fellow believers,I know what it means to have so called friends turn-tail and leave me along to fend for myself. It took a while to overcome accusing them of lovelessness and selfishness. Thanks to the Lord all is well with my soul about those times.

I rather have a soft pliable heart for His influence than a harden heart stiff with resistance. So I dare not be unforgiving.

Joan


Mr David T Battler

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2001, 10:28:00 PM »
Hello Richard & Joan

Please forgive me..I have built in a bit of UBB Code, but it doesn't appear to be working here at TRO??

I think you have both hit the nail on the head, in your own, respective ways.

I believe that the greatest point of suffering in the believer's life, is when professed loved ones, or friends turn on you.

Imagine...if Jesus was made that aspect of sin for us...how heavy must that have been on our Redeemer's shoulders; how sweltering upon His mind?

May God bless someone in His Word, as I enclose the following thoughts.  It's a bit longer than usual; however there is still much more to say about it...all in good time... :)

I Come To The Garden Alone
By DavidTBattler

JESUS IN GESTHEMANE

In this devotional, I will be discussing Jesus, in the Garden Of Gesthemane.

When I contemplate this scene; I find myself deeply moved...and I feel this tugging at my heart strings..

I want to start out, by simply asking an open ended question; and thenI will say more about Jesus in the Garden Of Obedience.

What really happened in the following Scripture passage, and how might it impact the believer today?

Here are the verses:

Luke 22: 39  "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. {willing, remove: Gr. willing to remove}

43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,"

Let God's Word be true.

We all have times where we get a small "taste" of what Jesus experienced in Gesthemane.
One of the things that hit me the most about this scene in the Garden Of Gesthemane, was how the disciples fell asleep, and left Jesus to continue alone in his trial.
It is often the case, where church members today who have grievous trials to bear, cannot trust the details to human ears; for fear of being misunderstood, or further discouraged.
Other people sometimes let us down, disappoint us, and diminish our hope.

Let us look at a good example of this, where Jesus has a similar experience, and then we will look in more detail, at the Savior, coming to the Garden alone:

BE.1892-08-15.007
     “He was betrayed by a kiss into the hands of his enemies; He was hurried to the judgment hall of an earthly court, by sinful men to be derided and condemned to death. There the glorious Son of God "was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." He bore insult, mockery, and shameful abuse, until his "visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men."

“Suffering” from loneliness is a much different thing; when compared to “being” alone; making the choice to “be” alone.
Mat.26: 40  “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”

In looking at Christ, in the Garden of Gesthemane; I am reminded of the fact of life, that being lonely, is never the same thing, as being alone. Jesus had special times when He chose to be alone; and His people today, will also have poignant times when they make a choice to be alone:

Luke 6:12  “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

I believe that Jesus speaks to His lonely, and hurting people today through the well-known song:“I come to the Garden alone while the dew is still on the roses…”

Jesus, in His Garden, was THE Rose….

“Lo, how a Rose e’r  blooming
from tender stem has sprung
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sung

It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half spent
Was the winter.”

(taken from hymn #131).

I speak here, as one who has suffered acutely from loneliness; and the difference between being alone, and suffering from loneliness, is that loneliness is the feeling of being alone and feeling despondent and rejected about it.   That is why I specifically called it “suffering” from loneliness.  

And sadly, Christmas is a time of excruciating loneliness for many.   Trapped by poverty, whipped with abuse, imprisoned by drugs or booze, shunned in their church, heart-broken by death or illness; perplexed with doubt, frozen by fear.

The church is not exempt from the pressures that everyone in the world faces today.  There are too many churches, and not enough Truth.  There are seven days in a week, and churches are only open one.  How will the holidays be for those whom we have shunned and rejected, because they were not perfect enough?  Some have been openly ridiculed and betrayed by those who they thought were friends.

The Prophet of the Lord knows what that was like:

RH.1883-10-16.017  “My  trust is in God. I have learned not to be surprised at opposition in any form or from almost any source. I expect to be betrayed, as was my Master, by professed friends.”  

The kiss of Judas is freely doled out to many an undeserving soul, making their Christmas a nightmare.

Jesus truly suffered in His Garden.  All his closest disciples deserted Him, and left Him alone.  He truly felt the human suffering of jagged emotions nurtured with despondence; and lavished by rejection.  

All of us feel lonely some of the time. But, it is only when we seem trapped in our loneliness that it becomes a real problem.  Then, it becomes the “suffering” of loneliness:

If you are “suffering” when everyone else is rejoicing; take heart; and go to the Garden alone.  Jesus will have you.  Just as you are.  (Jo.6:37).

Isaiah 58:11  “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden…”

What is the solution to our  “suffering?”

RH.1889-03-19.008
     When I was in Europe, a sister wrote to me in the deepest distress. She was in despair, and she wrote, "Can't you say a word of encouragement to me? Can't you tell me of anything I could do to be relieved of my burden?" The night after I had read her letter, I dreamed that I was in a garden, and a stately personage was conducting me through its paths. I was picking the flowers and enjoying the fragrance, when this sister, who was walking by my side, called my attention to some unsightly thistles that were impeding her way. There she was, mourning and grieving. She was not walking in the pathway, following the guide, but was walking among the briers and thorns.

"Oh," she mourned, "is it not a pity that this beautiful garden is spoiled with thorns?" Then the guide turned, and said, "Let the thistles alone, for they will only wound you. Gather the roses, and the lilies, and the pinks;" and now she is doing this. Why not have something pleasant to think about? "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

What does Ellen G White specifically mean by “The Garden Of God,” and all the lilies, the roses, and the pinks?

RH.1889-03-19.010
     ”The precious Bible is the garden of God, and his promises are the lilies, and the roses, and the pinks. Why do you not gather the fragrant flowers, and leave the thistles alone? Why do you not dwell on the love of Jesus? Why do you not bring gratitude into your life for all the benefits you have received from your Heavenly Father? The more thankfulness you express, the more you will have to express. The whole universe is looking upon us; and see what efforts God has made for our salvation.

He has given his only begotten Son to die for us. He was willing to come to our world, to leave the royal throne, that he might save the fallen race of men. Says the prophet, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." He made an infinite sacrifice on Calvary's cross for us. Then why is it that we are always talking of our bruises? Why are we not healed? He died to pardon our sins, and to become our righteousness. When Satan comes to tell you that you are sinner, tell him that you know you are, but that Christ came into the world to save sinners, and that makes him your Saviour. I love him; I believe in him to-day.”

DA.829.002
    “ As the place of His ascension, Jesus chose the spot so often hallowed by His presence while He dwelt among men. Not Mount Zion, the place of David's city, not Mount Moriah, the temple site, was to be thus honored. There Christ had been mocked and rejected. There the waves of mercy, still returning in a stronger tide of love, had been beaten back by hearts as hard as rock.  Thence Jesus, weary and heart-burdened, had gone forth to find rest in the Mount of Olives. The holy Shekinah, in departing from the first temple, had stood upon the eastern mountain, as if loath to forsake the chosen city; so Christ stood upon Olivet, with yearning heart overlooking Jerusalem. The groves and glens of the mountain had been consecrated by His prayers and tears. Its steeps had echoed the triumphant shouts of the multitude that proclaimed Him king.

On its sloping descent He had found a home with Lazarus at Bethany. In the garden of Gethsemane at its foot He had prayed and agonized alone. From this mountain He was to ascend to heaven. Upon its summit His feet will rest when He shall come again. Not as a man of sorrows, but as a glorious and triumphant king He will stand upon Olivet, while Hebrew hallelujahs mingle with Gentile hosannas, and the voices of the redeemed as a mighty host shall swell the acclamation, "Crown Him Lord of all!”

May God bless you as you go to the Garden alone.

“Isaiah ‘twas foretold it
The Rose I have in mind
With Mary, we beheld it
The virgin mother kind

To show God’s love aright
She bore to them a Savior
When half-spent was
The night…”

(Hymn #131, concluded).

------------------
"..The foundation of God stands sure..."  
(2 Tim.2:19).

Mr. DavidTBattler


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2002, 08:56:00 AM »
Amen, Brother David!

Oh for a church as it was at the time of Pentecost!  Soon! Soon! Until then we shall indeed suffer most from those closest to us. We shall indeed be betrayed by those we trust or should have been able to trust. But....as we read in this most beautiful chapter, we have One who left heaven and the adoration of the angels to come and feel our pain and to be tempted as we are. He has gone before us and as we contemplate His yearning for human sympathy and not getting any, does it not lift us up above our trials? Yes, it does!  While painful, we know that Jesus is in perfect control of all that happens. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can bear. There is a day of judgment coming and all will be settled there. In this world we shall know tribulation, but we are to be of good cheer for our Redeemer liveth!

Is it not amazing that those who knew Jesus the best, His disciples....and after witnessing the angel ministering to Christ and seeing the mob fall as dead men could yield to "unbelief" and desert Christ? So many today in a similar deception as they continue on blindly doing the Lord's work without the Lord.

Lord, open our eyes that we may see!

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2003, 12:57:00 PM »
Just finished reading Gethsemane again. I know that there are many who take no special joy in reading such, but there really is a blessing in beholding Christ. There is no better place than this chapter for me. The cost of our salvation is presented in unmistakble terms. We ought to be so one with our God. We would if we would take the time to learn of Him!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2004, 08:00:00 AM »
In the "Protestant" and Catholic world there appears to be many that desire to hear of Gethsemane and our Lord's suffering. Do we spend that thoughtful hour contemplating these closing scenes of our Lord's life?

Do we do this daily or are we happy with watching a movie once in awhile. If we limited our intake of temporal food to that which we feed ourselves with Spiritual, would we still live?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Sister Marie

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Re: The Desire of Ages--74--Gethsemane
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2004, 09:58:00 AM »
What a hugh thought! If our body would die in that case, then our Spiritual self is dying now.

As a man thinks, so is he. What we place in our minds by hearing, sight, etc... is how we will think. That determans who we will be and are. Do we desire the food of life or only the food of this world?

------------------
With Christian Love,
Sister Marie

[This message has been edited by Sister Glass (edited 03-02-2004).]

With Christian Love,
Marie