And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and He saith to His disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. . . . My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch (Mark 14.32,34).
The prayerful agony of our Lord in Gethsemanes garden on the night of His betrayal is reflected in the third verse of that stirring communion hymn, According to Thy Gracious Word, written in the mid-1800s.
Gethsemane can I forget? Or there Thy conflict see, Thine agony and bloody sweat, And not remember Thee?
Actually, this verse asks a question. Lord, how could I ever forget the intense events of that night?
A mighty war was waged that night, a great conflict of soul. And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:35,36). In His humanity, He certainly shrank from the torturous death before Him, but in His Spirit, pure and undefiled as it was, He recoiled from the world of sin, my sin and your sin about to become His, and the infinite separation between the holy Father and the sin-laden Sacrifice which would follow. His agony was so great that the physician Luke records that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:44), a rare but extremely painful response of the brow to intense emotional struggle.
When we acknowledge that this struggle was for our eternal welfare, and that He struggled alone as His disciples slept, how could we not remember? JDM