Humble Hero


The Awesome Struggle in Gethsemane

This chapter is based on Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-50; Luke 22:39-53; John 18:1-12.

The Savior made His way to the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. The Passover moon shone from a cloudless sky. As He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God’s presence. But now He was numbered with the transgressors. He must bear the guilt of fallen humanity. Its weight was so great that He was tempted to fear that it would shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. He exclaimed, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” HH 317.1

Never before had the disciples seen their Master so utterly sad. His body swayed as if He were about to fall. On reaching the garden, the disciples looked anxiously for His usual place of seclusion, so that their Master could rest. Twice His companions supported Him, or He would have fallen. HH 317.2

Near the entrance, Jesus left all but three of the disciples, asking them to pray for themselves and for Him. With Peter, James, and John, He entered the garden’s inner areas. In His great struggle, Christ wanted their presence near Him. Often they had passed the night with Him in this retreat. After a season of prayer, they would sleep undisturbed until He awoke them in the morning to go out again to work. Now He wanted them to spend the night with Him in prayer, yet He could not bear for even them to witness the agony He was about to endure. HH 317.3

“Stay here,” Jesus said, “and watch with Me.” He went a little distance—not so far that they could not see and hear Him—and fell facedown on the ground. He felt that He was being separated from His Father by sin. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered as He faced it. He must not exert His divine power to escape this agony. As a man He must suffer the consequences of human sin. As a man He must endure God’s anger against transgression. HH 317.4