Ms 52, 1904


Ms 52, 1904

Sermon/A Plea for Unity

Berrien Springs, Michigan

May 22, 1904

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2SAT 260-269. +Note

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.” [John 17:1-6.] Ms52-1904.1

What a glorious commendation—“They have kept Thy word.” [Verse 6.] To have these words said of us would be a great honor. But too often self comes in; self strives for the mastery. Ms52-1904.2

This was Christ’s last prayer with His disciples. It was offered just before He went into the garden of Gethsemane, where He was to be betrayed and taken. When He reached Gethsemane, He fell prostrate upon the ground, in an agony of distress. What caused His agony?—The weight of the sins of the whole world was resting upon His soul. As we study this prayer, let us remember that it was just before this experience, and just before His betrayal and trial, that these words were uttered. Ms52-1904.3

In Gethsemane, Christ felt that 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. Ms52-1904.4

Behold His 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 further 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.” [Matthew 26:39.] Ms52-1904.5

The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. This longing Christ felt to the very depths of His being, and He went to the place where He had left His disciples. Had He found them praying, He would have been relieved. But they were asleep. They could give Him no comfort. Once more after this He came to them, but again He found them asleep. Turning away Jesus sought 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 men. 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 trembling 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.” [Verse 42.] Ms52-1904.6

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. Ms52-1904.7

Thus the Son of God gave Himself for us—the sinless for the sinful—that we might not perish. Let us think of the suffering that He endured for us; and as we think of it, let us remember that we are to be partakers of this suffering, that we may finally share in His glory. “If any man will come after Me,” He says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Ms52-1904.8

How much have we suffered for Christ and for our fellow beings. As we have gone from place to place, and have seen the need and the sinfulness of humanity, have we been willing to endure self-denial and privation for others? Ms52-1904.9