And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…
Wherein does the scene of Calvary differ from the scene of Gethsemane? It would be easy to point out the sameness, the essential oneness, of the two scenes. But there is a difference. It lies in this: At Calvary the physical suffering is prominent. Our thought is sympathizingly occupied with our Lord's bodily agonies, and bleeding, breaking heart. At Gethsemane the physical is subordinate, the mental and spiritual are prominent; we are in the presence of an awful soul struggle. Life is everywhere a conflict. Earth is a great battlefield. What does it all mean? Conflict in the heart. Conflict in the home. Conflict in the nation. Conflict everywhere. If we get light on the mystery anywhere, we get it in the garden of Gethsemane, where the Son of man is seen in bitter, almost overwhelming conflict.
I. THE CONFLICT OF LIFE IS REALLY A CONFLICT OF WILLS. God is the supreme will; and his will ought to be supreme with his creatures. But to man has been entrusted a limited free will. That free will man has exercised until it has become masterful, and is constantly setting itself against God's will. Bodily conditions, the slavery of the senses, the attractions of the seen and temporal, all help to the strengthening of man's will, man's wilfulness, so that the fight sometimes becomes severe. Our Lord, in taking on himself our human nature, took on him our sense-conditioned human will. And this in Gethsemane tried a wrestling with the will of God.
II. THE TRIUMPH IN THE CONFLICT OF LIFE IS YIELDING OUR WILL TO GOD'S WILL. This is the triumph of Gethsemane. Our Lord did not want the Divine will to be altered. He wanted to gain the full surrender of his whole nature - body, mind, soul - to the acceptance of the will. Man never gives up his will save as the issue of a fierce struggle. What force can renew and strengthen man's will so that it shall accept God's will, and make it his?
1. The truth as it is in Jesus.
2. The work wrought through for us by Jesus.
3. The grace won for us and given to us by Jesus.
4. The actual present power exerted on us by Jesus.
5. The constrainings of the love of Jesus.
Christ came to make the will of God infinitely attractive to us. He is the gracious Persuader of the human will. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.