February 8th Christ prays in Gethsemane
36: Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37: And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38: Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39: 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. 40: And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42: He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43: And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44: And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45: Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46: Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
47: And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48: Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49: And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50: And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 51: And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53: Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54: But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55: In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56: But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Christ before Caiaphas
57: And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58: But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59: Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60: But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61: And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62: And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63: But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64: Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65: Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66: What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. 67: Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68: Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Peter denies Christ
69: Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 70: But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71: And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. 72: And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. 73: And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74: Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Christ was now in the struggle of his life. He knew that this was a struggle only he could face but he wanted – expected his disciples to be there with him. It says ‘he went a little further’. Yes he did. He went further in prayer. He went further in obedience. He went further than any of us could ever know. And he went further for us. Did Christ want to go to the cross? No of course not and he asked many times to be excused. However although he shrank back from the horror of the cross he nevertheless was willing to do his Fathers will. From the moment he set out on his life work he was led of the Spirit Now the spirit leads to the Cross. Each of us in our lives has to face the same issue one way or the other. Are we willing to do the Fathers will? Will we be like Christ who says? Not my will. But your will be done. George Muller, said once, There was a day when l died, I died to this world, I died to George Muller, to what George Muller wants, to his ambitions, to his concerns. This was to be a night of no sleep for Christ. The issue was too great for sleep. In the morning Christ woke the disciples because Judas was on his way. When Judas and the high priests servants and soldiers arrived Peter tried to cut off a servants head and cut off his ear. (How often do preachers do that?) Christ said NO! And he reached out and healed the man. Christ said can l not call on 12 legions of angels to deliver me? (One day 12 legions of witnesses will arise. Not to fight but to preach) the disciples fled as Christ had foretold. In the house of Caiaphas Christ had many false witnesses brought against him but none of them could agree. The only charge brought against him was a misunderstanding of theirs about what Christ said regarding the temple. They mistook him to mean the temple in Jerusalem Christ meant the temple of his body. Christ did not clear up this misunderstanding. The High priest tried to goad Christ into a public confession of his authority But Christ told the High priest that one day he (that is Israel whom he represents) would see Christ coming in glory. The high priest tares his clothes, thus bringing his ministry to an end. They spat on Christ and beat him up. They gave him a blindfold beating and mocked him. Peter outside denied him. Peter remembered Christ’s prediction of his denial and he left and wept bitterly.