When a dear friend is in trouble our foot fall is quiet and our voice hushed “ he saith unto Peter, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour? (v.37).
Children are brought to silence when they see the face they loved stained with tears and pal with anguish.
How much does stillness of soul becomes us when we enter into the Garden of Gethsemane and see the Lord we love in his agony.
Jesus completed the cycle of human temptations in Gethsemane.
In the wilderness he had been tempted to desire what was forbidden, to obtain provision in a wrong way, to manifest Divine power in an act of presumption, to gain the kingdom by force and fraud “Then was Jesus led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (Mt.4:1).
Here in this setting he was tempted to avoid what was ordained of God. And to do what we ought not, not to do what we ought, sums up all temptations.
Christ “Was in all points tempted like as we are, “yet without sine.” (Heb.4:15).
The sin- forgetting church is represented by the disciple who failed their Lord.
The disciples did not understand the necessity and dreadfulness of Jesus’ struggle with the power of darkness.
Peter, James and John Had been spectators of the Transfiguration “And was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (Mt.17:2).
They had stood by while their Master restored to life the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter “And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years.” (Mk.5:42).
These same three are now to be witnesses of that fearful struggle of the Redeemer’s soul. Yet they are asleep. ““He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” (Prov. 28:26).
They allowed natural weariness to overcome them, so that they had no share in the conflict endured near them and for them.
As little does the church share the purpose of Christ in the redemption of the world from sin, nor does she the need for being in an “agony”about it.”Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,” (Ep.5″14).
Is there the feeling about sin, even our own sin, that there should not be? David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Ps. 26″18).
The example of Peter is a standing memorial to us, and a warning to us to resist the first motions of evil in our bosoms. “But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man.”
Judas began with petty thefts, Demas with secret yearning, David with a lustful look.
Are we not too often like those who, under the shadow of Christ sorrow, slept, through he himself had said, “Terry ye here, and watch”?
Nor did these disciple reach the source of power that night.
It was impossible to find victory through human passion, as Peter discovered after he had drawn and used his sword.
Indiscriminate zeal, which will attack heretics and sceptics with bitter words and penalties, is sure to fail.
Power to overcome is found in obedience to the command, “Watch and pray.” and ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” (Acts 1:8).
To watch without praying is presumption; to watch only is to depend on self. The battle is Jesus’ not ours.
The difference between our Lord and his disciples was this, they refreshed themselves by natural mean and he by spiritual. “And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed,” (v.35).
The disciples fell back on sleep, and he on prayer. “And he cometh, and findeth them sleep.” (v.37).
How many times do we rely on human agencies, and not on Divine.
The disciple confusion and indecision increased as they diverged from their Lord.
Jesus became more calm, and more sure of victory.
The disciples became more heavy with sleep, more cowardly and unprepared,” And they all forsook him and fled.” v.50).
Only when they assembled again in his Name to pray in they upper room were they endured with power from on high. (Acts 2:4).
We need to pray that we will not hear these words from our \Lord, “Sleep on , and take your rest … Behold, the Son of man is betrayed.”
The sin-committing world. While the disciples slept, the hostile world was alert.
This vigilance was a rebuke to their sloth. Daily haunts of pleasure are often more eager than members of Christ church to invite their companions to join them.
Those who assail the cause of Christ are stimulated by different motives.
Some are malignant, as the priests were; others join in the popular cry, “Crucify him!”
The mob in Jerusalem had little idea what they were doing. They were casting out of the world the Son of God, who had come to be their Saviour and Friend. “Had they known it, they would not have crucified. the Lord of of glory” (I.Cor.2:8).
People’s acts have more in them than appears, some who are simply careless will be amazed to find themselves reckoned amongst his foes.
The world had no power over Christ except through the traitor Judas.
The weakness of the church, the inconsistency or apostasy of Christians, ever leads to the most successful attacks. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…”And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turn unto fables.” (II.Tim.4:3,4).
Judas knew where Jesus resorted, and betrayed him by a kiss. The fall of one sentinel may prove the destruction of the camp.
The self-bearing Saviour. It is no figment of theological imagination that he himself took infirmities, that “He was wounded for our transgression, and bruised for our iniquities and carried our sorrows, and with his stripes we are healed.” (Is.53).
He made atonement for us, as well as in sympathy with us.” For in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin,” (Eph.1:7).
He took the cup of bitterness that we might receive the cup of blessing.
What was the nature of Jesus struggle. It could not be with sin, for he had no sin, he was ” holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinner.” (Heb.7:26).
It was not with the development of any unholy tendency or the uprising of any evil passion; from all such humanity was exempt.
Nor yet are we without a hint respecting the source whence the struggle proceeded. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:15). 1/21/2016