1 Peter 2: 19-25
Matthew 26: 36-39
Mark 14: 32-36
Luke 22: 39-48
John 18: 1-6
AEM I wonder whether we could consider in this reading the matter of what the Lord Jesus has borne. Many here were privileged to be reading this chapter last weekend when we considered Him as the Man of sorrows, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. In the Synopsis as to Isaiah 53, Mr Darby says that he need not comment on it because it should be engraved on every true Christian’s heart, p236. I wondered whether, as we consider what the Lord Jesus has borne, not just for us, although that is evidently part of it, we might see what He has borne that the pleasure of God should be secured. We might see that He has borne it and was able to bear it; that what He bore came from so many directions, and through so many different agents; but also that He was able to bear everything that came upon Him. He was able to bear it. As I understand it, this chapter was written prophetically of a Jewish remnant who will come to see, when they see their Messiah, the One that they had persecuted and rejected. These are their words prophetically. What will enter into the heart of a saved Jew when they see the One that they persecuted? The words of the chapter take on a very personal meaning, particularly thinking of the repetition of the word “we” in verse 4, “and we, we did regard him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”. I wonder whether, just by considering this chapter, what the Lord Jesus has borne might become engraved on our hearts a little bit more as we ponder it. The brethren will be able to contribute many thoughts. The brethren will also be aware that many things came into the occasion I mention last weekend and I have no wish, even if I were able, just to repeat that, but wondered if we could be kept in the area of what was sustained and borne by such a Man.
We see in Peter’s first epistle that He bore our sins in His body; and we see in the four references to Gethsemane the way that He bore so much there. In some instances He bore it alone, in other instances it indicates that He was strengthened, but He bore it. One has said that no creature could sustain Gethsemane and the cross, JT vol 17 p4. We might consider these chapters in the light of that.
BDW It struck me as it was being read, this thought of being “acquainted with grief”. It was not just a fleeting thing, it was day by day.
AEM I think so. Do you not think that His whole pathway was a pathway of sorrow from the manger to the cross? There was intense sorrow that God’s pleasure should be fulfilled.
BDW Do we get glimpses of this when Lazarus died and “Jesus wept”, John 11: 35? You get something of the intense feelings there, this “acquainted with grief”, and there are other incidences where you get a real sense that He endured so much.
AEM Part of what has impressed itself upon my heart is that not only was He acquainted with it because He saw it everywhere, He saw it all closely around Him. I have been thinking about all those people who were brought to Him, “sick with divers diseases” (Luke 4: 40), and their needs. He was acquainted with it; He laid His hands upon them, and He prayed with them and touched them, imparted power to them. He was acquainted with it as it was in others, but He was also acquainted with it because He took it on Himself and He felt it. One thing that comes out in Gethsemane is that there are references there to His body, His soul, and His spirit. I need to be very careful what I say about that; others maybe can help a little more, but it seems to me that the entirety of the Lord’s life, and who He was, was acquainted with grief.
JW It has been said of the Lord that He bore in His spirit what He removed in His power, JND Collected Writings vol 7 p172. I was thinking that His being acquainted with grief was more than a contact with it. He bore it in His spirit.
AEM He bore it in His spirit. The words here speak of “suffering”, “sickness” and “infirmity”, what He bore in His spirit went so deep and caused that blessed Man such sorrow, but He was acquainted with it. Would it be right to say that He saw it, and every day He was acquainted with grief?
JW He was able to remove the effects of sin but He really bore it in His spirit; He carried it in that way.
AEM I like that suggestion. He carried it with Him as He was here amongst men. We also considered last weekend a Man of joy, and that was largely hidden when the Lord was here. There will come a day when it will be displayed and seen, “the joy lying before him”, Heb 12: 2. It was largely hidden, but I think the sorrow, being “acquainted with grief”, would have been seen.
DJW Can you say more as to His capacity to endure the suffering? I was thinking of the altar; it is quite big compared to other things in the tabernacle.
AEM What the altar was able to bear! I suppose that, in coming into manhood, the Lord Jesus came into a condition where He could feel these things as a man and we can understand how He felt them. There are evidently elements that we cannot enter into, but we can understand, as a man, how He felt these things. But there was what He had the capacity to bear.
DJW The altar was much larger than the other items in there. It has been said that the altar consumed the offering, but with the Lord His capacity was such that He exhausted the judgment, CAC vol 18 p22.
AEM He absolutely exhausted it, and in doing so the pleasure of God was fulfilled. If there were anything left it would not have been so. When you spoke of the altar, I was thinking of the ark - the acacia wood speaks of a humanity able to endure. He was able to endure. I think what you say helps as to the altar too, that when the fire came, when the offering was made, He was able to bear that. In His life and in His death He was able to endure.
DP I was thinking of, “Lo, I come … to do, O God, thy will”, Heb 10: 7. These things were no surprise or no accident.
AEM No, a body was prepared for Him that He might take it up and become acquainted with these things and bear them. That body was prepared and He took it up to go to suffer and to go to death. What a Man He was to do that deliberately and take it up. We see in Gethsemane what that meant to Him, but He took it, and He went that way bearing these things.
DJR Lamentations gives us the expression of God’s fierce anger, “any sorrow like unto my sorrow … in the day of his fierce anger”, Lam 1: 12. Applying that to the Lord, only He could bear it.
AEM I come back to the reference: no creature could bear Gethsemane and the cross. Who could bear God’s “fierce anger”? It would make a creature extinct, but there was One there who knew a sorrow and who was able to bear what none other could. I wonder whether it has really grasped my affections that there really was, for God’s pleasure to be established, no other way but that such a One should come into such a condition.
AM In taking up manhood He took up everything that lay upon man and it was His pleasure to do that in accordance with the will of God, “he hath borne our griefs and carried out sorrows”; but the end of the paragraph refers to what Jehovah has “laid upon him”; that was not a pleasure to Him - that was what He would have shrunk from.
AEM That is one of the reasons why I asked for the whole chapter to be read, “Jehovah hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all”: not upon me or you. That would annihilate us. We deserved it, “the iniquity of us all”. Now consider that in the light just of those of us in this room - “the iniquity of us all”, Jehovah deliberately placing upon a Man, His Son, the iniquity of us all. Oh the load of it, the weight of what was laid on that Man, and He could bear it!
RDP We have spoken about the things that were upon man, but there was what was in man as well, the sorrows. I was thinking of the literal interpretation bearing on the remnant, and the tense changes here: it says, “He is despised and left alone of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”, and then it goes on to say, “Surely he hath borne …”. Men - man as man - have never appreciated the sufferings of Christ. “He is despised” and, despite the fact that we know Him as the One whose sufferings are over, in a sense it goes on, “He is despised and left alone of men”.
AEM Do you think we should still feel that? That is part of what should be felt in our hearts at the present time, “He is despised and left alone of men”. The “corner stone”, “The stone which the builders rejected” (Ps 118: 22), has now become the “corner stone”, but it is rejected by men. There will come a time when Israel will see that; the remnant will see the One whom they rejected. The scripture as to the stone being rejected gives you a picture in your mind of His own people turning over that stone, looking at it, and throwing it away. But, this was the One upon whom Jehovah was to lay “the iniquity of us all”.
RDP It says “we esteemed him not”; that is the change point I think. The Jew had had part in all that, but now there is a change. So it says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs”.
JMW Did you have some thought as to the condition into which He came? It was a condition that was capable of bearing suffering. It says, “Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, he also, in like manner, took part in the same” (Heb 2: 14), sin apart. It goes on to say, “but tempted in all things in like manner”, Heb 4: 15. He came into a condition in which He could suffer, and that these things should be laid upon Him.
AEM I think that is something for our affections to just linger on. He took “a bondman’s form”; He was “found in figure as a man”, Phil 2: 7, 8. He took a form in which Jehovah was able to lay these things upon Him, in which men could bruise Him and scourge Him, in which He could be rejected, in which He could be nailed to a cross; and He took that form. I suppose the wonder of the way that God has operated should fill our affections as we consider that the One who did this was none less than the Son of God, and therefore was able to bear it.
JMW I was affected by what is being said, and the fact that it is “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. Who that Man was comes out in the last scripture that you read, “they went away backward and fell to the ground”, but nevertheless it is “a man of sorrows”, and we can, as helped by the Spirit, have some deepening impression of what that meant for Him.
AEM I think so; the fact that He took His place in a condition in which we partake helps us to understand that. These things have been said so many times, but I would like it to really embed itself in my heart that the Son of God came into a condition where these things could happen. As you read down the chapter, you look at the list of the things that happened to my Saviour. Look at the list of things that He suffered - stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, stripes laid upon Him, oppressed and so on. These things happened to One who was Himself the Son of God, but took a bondman’s form, found as we are in flesh and blood.
BDW So this is the answer to those who ask why does God allow suffering, and why they think He is so cold and unfeeling? Here we have One who came here, God Himself, becoming a Sufferer. It is quite amazing.
AEM How wonderful that God should provide such a One; it says, “On the mount of Jehovah will be provided”, Gen 22: 14. He has provided the One who has done this. I think what you say as to men thinking that God is an unfeeling God is quite a rampant thought in the world at the moment, that God is a harsh God, a God of judgment in the sense of vengeance; but I think if we see what was laid upon that One, His Son, we will see that God’s heart is anything but unfeeling or harsh; it is a heart of love.
JW We have considered the Lord coming into a flesh and blood condition to bear these things, He was the only One perfect in that condition, and therefore because of the perfection of His manhood He was able to be an offering for God.
AEM God’s eyes did, and still do, “run to and fro through the whole earth”, 2 Chron 16: 9. But, “He who, yea, has not spared his own Son”, Rom 8: 32. This is the One He provided, because He was perfect. In Him, sin was not, and that perfection was part of what was able to bear what God brought. I suppose if there had been any sin then it would have been devoured just as you or I but there was none. Blessed Man!
PM Because of who He was, none less than God, He felt the sorrow in a way that we could never understand the depths of it.
AEM We feel sin often because of its effect on us; we are disappointed in ourselves, or we see the effect of it on us. He felt sin because He knew its offence to God. That is what He felt in His heart.
PM He felt it just as God felt it, but would He not, through a deep working in our souls, cause us to come to some appreciation of what it means to God?
AEM I wondered whether that was something this particular chapter does, that it deepens in our hearts the realisation of exactly what sin was before God. It denied Him response, it denied Him the company of His creature, it opposed everything that God had and sought to take away His pleasure; and He provided One who could bear all of that, that His pleasure might be upheld.
AJG If we are thinking of man, and Jesus Himself being perfect, we think of man being a very sensitive creature, sensitive in his feelings, and physically sensitive; but I was thinking that looking at Psalm 22, everything that was perfect was violated and every part of His feeling: “I may count all my bones. They look, they stare upon me”, v 17.
AEM I think that. One thing is often said, and this is something the children are challenged with at school, that because of who He was He did not feel the suffering as a man would feel it. That was not the case; He suffered it, as you suggest. He felt, He was sensitive to it, more sensitive than we are to every blow, to every affront to God. We see here, as the prophet says, “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities”, the writer here takes up strong words in relation to what the Lord Jesus suffered.
TJH Is it in your mind that we should see the uniqueness of the suffering as well as the uniqueness of the Sufferer, the Man of sorrows? We may get pre-occupied with our own sufferings, but these sufferings are unique to the Man of sorrows.
AEM There was no suffering like unto His. Words fail me to speak of it adequately, but we should look upon Him, by the eyes of faith. Look upon Him, the One who suffered; every day He saw the effect, the distance, that had come in between creature and His God. God was robbed of His portion through that, the pleasure of God was not there because Man was far from Him; but it was going to involve that the Saviour had to endure these things that His pleasure might be sustained. I realised as I looked into the ministry, just a small bit, exactly how much ministry there is with regard to the sufferings of Christ. I am not really able to share too much of that with the brethren because I am not formed in that very much, but what I can see is that this was absolutely unique, never before, never since, never will it have to be suffered again like this.
PM Is it affecting that He bore our sorrows when He was carrying His own? This is what Israel will come to, that He bore their sorrows, but He did it at the time when He was carrying His own sorrow, “now is my heart sorrowful and full of grief”. Think of what He carried because of who He was in His own link with His God and at that time He carried our sorrow too.
AEM What a sorrow it must have been that those to whom He came received Him not. What a sorrow it must have been as He came into His Father’s house of prayer and He saw people trading there. These things He felt; only He could feel that. His own people, God’s own people, saw it and partook in that with no feeling; He felt it, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of robbers”, Matt 21:13.
MRC You have commented that sin robbed God of a response from man, but for that response to be restored it mean that there was a break in communion between the Father and the Son; God at that point was robbed of the most choice expression of perfect humanity. There was that which was impenetrable during those three hours of darkness.
AEM It is interesting to see how the different writers present what the Lord bore. Some present the intensity of what He bore in Gethsemane, others present the effect of it, and others bring out who He was as He bore it. What He bore was relentless. I wonder about our own lives; men speak about needing down time and leisure time, we cannot always be working, and we have to have time to relax. I am not being frivolous, but the Lord Jesus was always in His Father’s business, and He sorrowed in what He bore. His own sorrows and those of His people and those of the race, He bore them in His spirit. His soul became sorrowful and His grief was deep and it was constant. He bore it.
JMW Can you say something in relation to the first part of verse 10, “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath subjected him to suffering”.
AEM Were it not in Scripture we might not say that “it pleased Jehovah to bruise him”. My own thought is that God knew as a result of what the Lord suffered that there was One there perfect enough to establish what was to be for God’s own pleasure.
JMW We hesitate to add to or seek to enlarge scriptures like this. Let it affect our souls. It struck me as we have been speaking that there was One here that could bear the bruising as none other; there was One that could bear being subjected to suffering as none other. Indeed it says at the end of the verse, “the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand”. You get an impression of what it meant to God that there was One there that was able to be bruised, to be subjected to suffering, and what shone in that was a sweet savour to God.
AEM “The pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand”; never had there been a man to whom that could happen. Were Jehovah to bruise another like this, he could not bear it. He now had One who was fully able, because of the perfection of His manhood, and because of who He was, to bear such bruising.
PM And able to meet all that lay upon the human race that none other could remove; God had found a Man in whom He could work out the whole moral question and do it for His satisfaction.
AEM We can understand that His pleasure is in that. His pleasure was in this blessed One. When He says in Gethsemane that the cup should pass from Him, he adds: “but not as I will, but as thou wilt”, Matt 26: 39.
DJW It has been said, ‘Never was there a moment of the Father’s more perfect delight in Him’ than at that point when He bore sin, JND Collected Writings vol 17 p 331.
BMO We see a picture of all that we have been saying this morning in Leviticus 16 with the scapegoat, “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the living goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and he shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away to the wilderness by the hand of a man standing ready” (v 21); then it says, “that the goat may bear upon him all their iniquities to a land apart from men; and he shall send away the goat into the wilderness”, v 22. I wondered whether what we have here in this goat would speak to us about what we have been speaking over this morning.
AEM I am sure it does. It reminds you of the scripture, “their sins and their lawlessnesses I will never remember any more”, Heb 8: 12. A land apart. Think of the One not only who was able to bear it, but He exhausted God’s judgment. You can say in that section in Isaiah 53, what more could be added to be laid upon the Saviour? Yet there was more. There was what He suffered in those three hours of darkness.
In Peter, I thought of the expression, “himself bore our sins in his body on the tree”. “Bore our sins in his body” - we are told in scripture that “his visage was so marred more than any man” (Isa 52: 14). There is an allusion which is taken to mean that outwardly the Lord aged beyond His years (John 8: 57), but there came a point when, in power - in power - He “bore our sins in his body on the tree”. He was able to do that in His body.
RDP What would you understand by the model in Peter? We do not exactly get a model for us in Isaiah; it speaks about, “leaving you a model that ye should follow in his steps”.
AEM There are the references in verses 22 and 23 that refer to the perfection of the way that He met what was laid upon Him, certainly as far as men went.
RDP This is not exactly griefs and iniquity; this is the spirit of the Man who bore them. We could not carry these iniquities, but then “neither was guile found in his mouth … when reviled, reviled not again”. When you think of the catalogue of suffering and so on, you wonder at the fact that this was the kind of One that was there. There is something of a model in this.
AEM It reminds us of the brazen serpent in that sense, “I, if I be lifted up out of the earth, will draw all to me”, John 12: 32. Think of the perfection of the One whose body was lifted up out of the earth; the sight that was here at the cross was one that God could look upon. We say carefully that it was with pleasure, never more pleasurable because there was One who could bear these things. The spirit of that Man is to be with us. We could never go there; nobody could follow.
RMB There is more than one character to the Lord’s suffering. I think we have been taught that the Lord Jesus suffered on account of righteousness during His pathway here; in other words He suffered because He was righteous; and then there were His atoning sufferings. He suffered for our sins in the three hours on the cross; and as we know there are other characters to His suffering too. As I understand it, we could not suffer in an atoning way, like the Lord Jesus could, they were sufferings which belonged to Him alone; but it is in suffering on account of righteousness, or “doing good”, that He is a Model for us.
AEM That is helpful. I think that clarifies what we are reaching at, that there were things which He suffered that we can never enter into. The hymn tells us very clearly:
None could follow there, blest Saviour,
When Thou didst for sins atone
But, suffering for righteousness’ sake maybe is this Model: there was One “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth … when reviled, reviled not”. I think if the appreciation of the One who bore this perfectly was more in our hearts we would seek to be the more like Him, because there is a way in which we can be like Him.
RMB Peter brings out in the verses which this follows that there is no glory for us in suffering for our sins because He has already done that. But he says, “but if, doing good and suffering, ye shall bear it, this is acceptable with God”. Then he gives us the example of the One who perfectly suffered for doing good, but in that He is a Model for us all.
AEM I was thinking of the words that were said in Pilate’s hall, “I have found no cause of death in him”, Luke 23: 22. Perfectly righteous, the righteous One, as we had last weekend, “Jesus Christ the righteous”, 1 John 2: 1. He exemplified that in every corner, every step of His life and yet it still “pleased Jehovah to bruise him”.
TJH Whilst we do not lose sight of the uniqueness of the sufferings of Christ, there is what is subjective in what you are bringing out here as to the model. I wonder if the apostles are also a model: Paul speaks of “bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus”, 2 Cor 4: 10.
AEM I thought of the scripture you allude to: “bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus”. I wonder how much I can really say about that, whether in our pathways it is evident in testimony that something of what He has suffered is borne in my body too.
JW Peter is bringing forward here particularly, in the section that you had in mind, that He “bore our sins in his body on the tree”, that it might have a moral effect on us, that we might be dead to sin, be finished with it, see that the contemplation of what Christ bore is to affect us in that way.
AEM The hymn says:
Were borne on the cross,
and are gone evermore
“Himself bore our sins”, He was made sin on that tree; the complete removal of what was offensive to God was effected there. What you say helps, but that should form us.
JW As we see what it meant to Him, what it cost Him to bear those sins, it would have the effect upon us that we should really cease from sin, be finished with it.
AEM It says in Isaiah, “he was cut off out of the land of the living”. He could say prophetically, “take me not away in the midst of my days!” Ps 102: 24. What it meant to Him that He should go this way, but He bore that. The fact that those sins were borne in His body should cause us to pause for a moment to contemplate that there was One who was able to bear that.
PM Is that emphasised in these words, “who himself”?
AEM I wonder at the enormity of the fact that it was Himself. When Simeon took that babe in his arms when the Lord Jesus came into the world, he could see the salvation of his people. He saw it there, he held it in his arms, and we find now, thirty three and a half years later, that there is One, “who himself bore our sins in his body”. The wonder of the fact that there was such a One!
I have never in quite this way read the four instances of what took place in Gethsemane all together before. I trust it may be of benefit to the brethren. The first two, Matthew and Mark, are very intense; they deal with the pressure that bore on the Lord Jesus. It might be interesting for the young people to know that Gethsemane means ‘wine press’. There are two things that come from the wine press, first is the pressure that is applied and the second then is the wine, which is typical of the pleasure for God. These things occurred in Gethsemane.
RWMcC I wondered about the threefold repetition of the Lord’s prayer - it is not that the Lord questioned whether the cup could be removed - but if it was a witness to the fact that it could not.
AEM There was no other way. This was the way that He had to come. He came to this place. John says it was a garden, and that He was used to coming there. He had known communion with His Father in this very place, and now pressure came to bear upon Him like never before. Think of the things that came. We spoke last week of Goliath, the weapons of the enemy; they came to bear upon the Lord Jesus at this moment. This was not the suffering for sin here, but facing the meaning of what He had to pass through, that He would have to go into death to remove sin. Satan brought it to bear in all its awfulness upon His Holy Spirit at this point, but He was able to bear it.
AM He accepted it from the Father; He did not accept it from men. He did not accept it from Satan; He accepted it from the Father.
AEM That is beautiful. The pressure is so great here. We remember before in the Lord’s life, Satan had had forty days to tempt Him and he had failed utterly. He “departed from him for a time” (Luke 4: 13), and now he returns; and so much pressure is brought to bear. Speaking reverently, the Lord Jesus does not speak to Satan: He accepts it from His Father, “not my will, but thine be done”.
JW I think what has just been said as to that is very touching: He says, “the cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”, John 18: 11. He treats Satan, if we can use that word, almost in a derisory fashion. The feet of the priests dipped into the Jordan and it fled back as far as Adam, Josh 3: 16. His power was more than sufficient for Satan and overwhelmed him. But He accepted this cup from His Father.
AEM It is beautiful to see. You might say this was the worst Satan could do, and the Lord does not even acknowledge from whence that was coming; He says, “my Father”. There is not a recorded answer to that here; He was suffering in anticipation of what He was to be made, and that suffering here is unremitting. His disciples could not share it; no one could share it.
JW It would have been a sorrow to the Lord that His disciples were not able to enter into it here. He tells them about it, but there is none to sympathise with Him or comfort Him at this point.
AEM He had told them about it; He had forewarned them about it, “it is written of the Son of man that he must suffer much”, Mark 9: 12. They were “about a stone’s throw”; they could see and yet there was also the two thousand cubits, Josh 3: 4. There was One who was suffering alone.
DJW “If it be possible”, was that a review of the whole of divine ways and His purpose? I was thinking of what Paul says, “how unsearchable his judgment and untraceable his ways!”, Rom 11: 33.
AEM I think we have to be preserved in looking at this moment in Gethsemane; we have to be preserved from looking at it with fleshly thoughts at a worldly level, or with our thoughts even. It reviews the whole of God’s purpose, “if it be possible”. What is possible? Was there any way in which it was possible that it would be removed from Him? No. You might say the whole of what was to be for the pleasure of God was going to be secured by this blessed Man.
BDW Reference was made earlier as to a model for us, is this not one? He says, “but not as I will”? Man exerts his own will, but here was One that yielded to the will of Another.
AEM Even though that meant that He should go into death. He says, “My soul is very sorrowful even unto death”. How the Lord was able to express what He was feeling. It is a wonderful thing to see that as He accepts this.
BDW He was the One who was, “obedient even unto death, and that the death of the cross” (Phil 2: 8): a remarkable Model for us.
AEM He accepted it unquestioningly; this was not a question of looking for a way out, this was to emphasise the bitterness of what it was He was facing and yet there was that there that could bear it.
TJH He taught the disciples how to pray: “Our Father who art in the heavens”, Matt 6: 9. This is coming out here, “thy will be done”; He is bowing fully to the will of the Father in His sufferings and His death.
AEM Yes. Not that He ever did anything else, but this was the most intensive suffering and He bows to it. It is interesting to me that He speaks of His soul, “My soul is very sorrowful”, and then in Mark, “My soul is full of grief”, but it also says, “he began to be amazed and oppressed in spirit”. I hope I am saying what is right, but it just seems to me that every fibre, every part of the Lord Jesus, was under the enormous pressure of what was bearing down upon Him. There was no part of that blessed, holy Man that was not enduring such suffering.
RDP It is remarkable the words used, “deeply depressed”, and “oppressed” in Mark is a similar word. I was thinking of His manhood, it is almost like the limit of human capability, deeply depressed. It is almost the end of every resource; He reached to the limit of what was human.
AEM We have in the next scripture that His sweat, “became as great drops of blood”. The pressure that wrought that, again to quote Mr James Taylor’s thought, was such that no creature could sustain it. This was beyond what a creature could bear; this was the holy One of God.
DJW The soul would involve His feelings in regard of it, but does “depressed” in spirit indicate to us that He intelligently entered into in a full way all that was coming upon Him? When we think of all the depravity of man, but also the reference in Isaiah to our iniquities, would that involve all that has come into the public profession, and all the scope of what He entered into intelligently? He knew every kind of character of sin that was obnoxious to God; He felt it.
AEM He intelligently suffered this. Sometimes we enter into suffering and we just want to get through it. If you have a bad headache you take something to get through and come out the other side. The Lord Jesus intelligently entered into every part of suffering. There was not only what Satan was bringing here, but as our brother has said, the fact that the disciples were not here, “all left him and fled”. In another gospel it says specifically, “the disciples left him and fled”, Matt 26: 56. Judas, His own familiar friend, betrayed Him - what a thing that was; the nation betrayed Him, and then there was what He was to suffer at the hand of God. These things pressed in upon His spirit.
HTF The Lord’s perfect knowledge and intelligence is seen as to what was before Him. Genesis 22 was alluded to: Isaac had questions - where is the sheep for the burnt offering? - and he carried the wood. The Lord has borne it, but you cannot go to the type to find the intelligence because it was not there in Isaac.
AEM That is helpful. There was nothing that was going to come upon the Lord that He had not already felt in His spirit. He had borne it in His spirit already; He knew fully what was to come even as to Judas. It is interesting, as far back as in John 6 He says as to the twelve, “of you one is a devil”, v 70. He knew what was coming upon Him, and He carried it all the time that the twelve were together. Then there came the moment, which we read of in John’s account, where Judas came to betray Him. What sorrow! Well can we apply that scripture in Lamentations, “any sorrow like unto my sorrow”, Lam 1: 12.
DP Had you some thought as to the Lord saying, “Abba, Father” in these circumstances? Is there something for the Father in that expression, “Abba, Father”, even in these most trying circumstances? The whole course of the life of the Lord Jesus was absolutely pleasurable to God.
AEM Think of the Father looking upon what was going on here. There has been reference to Genesis 22, “they went both of them together”, v 8. Think of the Father’s own feelings as such a One endured this. One whom He loved as He had loved no other, One who lived with Him, who committed everything to Him, who only did what He heard from the Father, whose ear was opened every morning.
PM Is it affecting that even at such a moment the Lord Jesus is really in adoration of the Father, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee”? He moves forward in such pressure in a spirit of adoration of the Father.
AEM To take up what we have referred to, what a pattern that is in the time of the greatest pressure; no trace of bitterness, no trace of turning aside, He had set His face.
BHC I was thinking of how the Lord could say, “this cup” - it was an intelligent thought, that He identified what was to be His own, what He was to take upon Himself. All that had led up to that point was in that cup, all man’s failure, all that had been offensive to God was measured and He was to take of it and drink of it.
AEM Maybe we have spoken in quite a general way in this reading as to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, but that cup was measured. He knew every ingredient that was in that cup; He knew He would have to drain it. He knew that there would be nothing left for us, every last drop drained by the Lord of glory. He says here, “take away this cup”.
JW It was part of His perfection of manhood that He shrank from it: not that there was any question that He would go through with it, but because the matter of being made sin was so abhorrent to Him. He had a perfect judgment of it, so that in His holy soul He shrank from it, but there is no question that He would not go through with it.
AEM No question at all. Praise God for that! There was One here who was the Sin-bearer and He would go through and drain that awful cup:
Wrath’s awful cup He drained
What a cup it was.
RWMcC Divine Persons in principle have sat down and counted the cost - if They were able, to speak reverently - but in the ways of God this is the actual working out of it, and it is really the consummation of the ages.
AEM We get some sense of that in John 18 as we see the glory of the One who was taking that up. He was in the garden - it is not referred to as Gethsemane here - and He says to those who come, “Whom seek ye?”. Then it says, “I am he, they went away backward and fell to the ground”. He could have walked away at that moment, naturally speaking. He had done so before: they had come to take Him before, and they had fallen away back, but this time He was taking that cup.
3rd November 2012