September 3 – 9, 2017
“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it” (John 18:11)?
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 690–697.
“The awful moment had come—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance.” The Desire of Ages, 690.
1 IN GETHSEMANE
- When He finished His intercessory prayer, where did Jesus go with His disciples, and with what purpose? John 18:1; Matthew 26:36.
Note: “In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims’ tents was hushed into silence.
“Jesus had been earnestly conversing with His disciples and instructing them; but as He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. He had often visited this spot for meditation and prayer; but never with a heart so full of sorrow as upon this night of His last agony.” The Desire of Ages, 685.
- In appealing to three of His disciples to accompany Him, what request did Jesus make, and why? Mark 14:33, 34.
Note: “The working of the vigilant foe in presenting to Christ the vast proportions of transgression, caused such poignant pain that He felt that He could not remain in the immediate presence of any human being. He could not bear that even His disciples should witness His agony as He contemplated the woe of the world. Even His most dearly loved friends must not be in His companionship. The sword of justice was unsheathed, and the wrath of God against iniquity rested upon man’s substitute, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father.” Bible Training School, September 1, 1915.
2 DEEP ANGUISH
- What is the essence of Christ’s first prayer in Gethsemane? Mark 14:35, 36.
Note: “Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, ‘Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Zechariah 13:7). As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.
“As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. In the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ’s ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ’s; he himself would be overthrown and cast out.” The Desire of Ages, 686, 687.
- Returning from His prayer, how did Jesus find His disciples? What reproof did He give them? Mark 14:37, 38.
Note: “Rising with painful effort, He staggered to the place where He had left His companions. But He ‘findeth them asleep’ (Matthew 26:40). Had He found them praying, He would have been relieved. Had they been seeking refuge in God, that satanic agencies might not prevail over them, He would have been comforted by their steadfast faith. But they had not heeded the repeated warning, ‘Watch and pray’ (verse 41). At first they had been much troubled to see their Master, usually so calm and dignified, wrestling with a sorrow that was beyond comprehension. They had prayed as they heard the strong cries of the sufferer. They did not intend to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor which they might have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation.” The Desire of Ages, 688.
3 DEEP ANGUISH (continued)
- What was Christ’s second prayer, and what were the disciples doing? Matthew 26:42, 43. What prophecy was then fulfilled? Isaiah 52:14.
Note: “A short time before, Jesus had stood like a mighty cedar, withstanding the storm of opposition that spent its fury upon Him. Stubborn wills, and hearts filled with malice and subtlety, had striven in vain to confuse and overpower Him. He stood forth in divine majesty as the Son of God. Now He was like a reed beaten and bent by the angry storm. He had approached the consummation of His work a conqueror, having at each step gained the victory over the powers of darkness. As one already glorified, He had claimed oneness with God. In unfaltering accents He had poured out His songs of praise. He had spoken to His disciples in words of courage and tenderness. Now had come the hour of the power of darkness. Now His voice was heard on the still evening air, not in tones of triumph, but full of human anguish. The words of the Saviour were borne to the ears of the drowsy disciples, ‘O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done’ (Matthew 26:42).” The Desire of Ages, 689, 690.
- How was the Son of God comforted during that critical hour? Luke 22:43. With what words had Isaiah prophesied of Christ’s anguish and consolation? Isaiah 53:11.
Note: “In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father’s love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved.” The Desire of Ages, 693, 694.
4 JESUS ARRESTED
- Who led the group that arrested Jesus? John 18:2–5.
Note: “Judas the betrayer did not forget the part he was to act. When the mob entered the garden, he had led the way, closely followed by the high priest. To the pursuers of Jesus he had given a sign, saying, ‘Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast’ (Matthew 26:48).” The Desire of Ages, 695.
“The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that might have been honored of God. Had Judas died before his last journey to Jerusalem he would have been regarded as a man worthy of a place among the twelve, and one who would be greatly missed. The abhorrence which has followed him through the centuries would not have existed but for the attributes revealed at the close of his history. But it was for a purpose that his character was laid open to the world. It was to be a warning to all who, like him, should betray sacred trusts.” Ibid., 716.
- What happened to the angry mob when Jesus identified Himself to them? John 18:6.
Note: “No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples He said, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am He’ (John 18:4, 5). As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour’s face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground.
“The angel withdrew, and the light faded away. Jesus had opportunity to escape, but He remained, calm and self-possessed. As one glorified He stood in the midst of that hardened band, now prostrate and helpless at His feet. The disciples looked on, silent with wonder and awe.” The Desire of Ages, 694.
5 CHRIST’S ARREST
- What did Peter do when he saw that Jesus was ready to give Himself up without resistance, and how did Jesus admonish him? John 18:7–11; Luke 22:49, 50.
Note: “The disciples had thought that their Master would not suffer Himself to be taken. For the same power that had caused the mob to fall as dead men could keep them helpless, until Jesus and His companions should escape. They were disappointed and indignant as they saw the cords brought forward to bind the hands of Him whom they loved. Peter in his anger rashly drew his sword and tried to defend his Master, but he only cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant.” The Desire of Ages, 696.
- What miracle did Jesus perform at that very moment? Luke 22:51.
Note: “When Jesus saw what was done, He released His hands, though held firmly by the Roman soldiers, and saying, ‘Suffer ye thus far’ (Luke 22:51). He touched the wounded ear, and it was instantly made whole.” The Desire of Ages, 696.
- Describe what happened with the chief priests, captains, and elders. Luke 22:52, 53; John 18:12.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What appeal of Christ is especially valid to me today? 2 What kind of response should Christ’s experience in Gethsemane bring to my heart? 3 How can I avoid natural reactions such as was manifested by Peter at the arrest of Jesus? 4 What was the principal cause of Christ’s anguish? 5 How did the multitude react before the angel’s glory?
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