Manuscript Releases, vol. 9 [Nos. 664-770]
MR No. 737—This Material Is Cited in Chapter 31 of The Early Elmshaven Years, by Arthur L. White
MR No. 738—Christ's Human Nature in Gethsemane
We naturally long for sympathy and fellowship in suffering, and Christ felt this longing to the depths of His being when in His trial in Gethsemane He asked His disciples to watch with Him. But even they did not witness his great agony. He fought out His soul-battle alone, for when He came to see His disciples He found them sleeping. Sorrowfully He asked, “What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). Christ poured out His soul to God in an agony which He was not ashamed for His disciples to witness. They would ever afterwards call to mind that scene in Gethsemane, when their Lord bent over them, His face all marred with the bloody sweat which was caused by the agony He was enduring. 9MR 266.1
Then Christ went back to pray, not now for Peter that his faith fail not, but for His own tempted, tried, agonized soul. His human nature longed to escape the final test. The mysterious cup trembled in His hand. Shall he drink it? “If it be possible,” was His agonizing prayer, “let this cup pass from Me.” The sins of one human being would be sufficient to crush a finite man, but upon Christ were laid the sins of the whole world. 9MR 266.2
With all his power, Satan pressed his temptations upon Christ, seeking to make Him turn aside from offering Himself as an oblation to God. But Christ looked upon a world of woe, and knew that if He failed, it would be lost. Shall He turn aside? No, no. An angel from heaven strengthened Him to firmly put aside the temptation, the intense desire to avoid drinking the cup. And as the wail of a lost world came up before Him, He cried in a voice full of the deepest decision, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done” (Matthew 27:39).—Letter 106, 1896, pp. 7-9. (To Brother W, June 26, 1896.) 9MR 266.3
August 9, 1979.