“And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:43.
The Lord has given us, through the Spirit of Prophecy, the following details of the visit to Jesus by the angel while He was in Gethsemane.
“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.
“Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. …
“The sleeping disciples had been suddenly awakened by the light surrounding the Saviour. They saw the angel bending over their prostrate Master. They saw him lift the Saviour’s head upon his bosom, and point toward heaven. They heard his voice, like sweetest music, speaking words of comfort and hope.” The Desire of Ages, 693, 694.
I must smile at this detail: “Standing in advance of His disciples He said, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am He.’ 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.” [Emphasis added] Ibid., 694.