Luke 22:43-45 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow,
Gethsemane is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. It is so personal that it feels like you are some sort of awkward guest intruding into matters that are none of your business. Then it dawns on you, it is exactly your business. After all, I was the reason for Gethsemane. It was my sins that brought Christ there. In this dark hour of Christ’s soul He made a decision that changed everything for me. He decided to take personal responsibility for my sin. Pay careful attention, He did not decide to overlook my sin but to face it head on. He agreed to go to the cross and pay the penalty for my transgressions. He was drinking the cup of God’s wrath in my place. This is the ramification of “God so loved the world”. This is the unthinkable cost of redemption. Here are some thoughts on this moment of suffering from Jonathan Edwards.
“Thus this was not the first time that Christ had this bitter cup in His view. On the contrary, He seems always to have had it in view. But it seems that at this time God gave Him an extraordinary view of it. A sense of that wrath that was to be poured out upon Him, and of those amazing sufferings that He was to undergo, was strongly impressed on His mind by the immediate power of God. So He had far more full and lively apprehensions of the bitterness of the cup which He was to drink that He ever had before, and these apprehensions were so terrible that His feeble human nature shrank at the sight and was ready to sink.
The cup of bitterness was now represented as being just at hand. He had not only a more clear and lively view of it than before, but it was now set directly before Him so that He might without delay take it up and drink it; for then, within that same hour, Judas was to come with his band of men, and He was then to deliver up Himself into their hands to the end that He might drink this cup the next day- unless indeed He refused to take it, and so make His escape from that place where Judas would come. He had opportunity enough to do this if He had been so minded.”
This brings the suffering of Christ to another level. It was not just physical death, other men had died as martyrs for various causes, but Christ was taking on a spiritual suffering. Experiencing the wrath of His Father who had only loved Him was unthinkable. The price of redemption was made perfectly clear to Jesus at the cross. This makes His love for me even more amazing.