by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples (John 18:1).
2 Samuel 15:13-23:
13And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
14And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
15And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.
16And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
17And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.
18And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
19Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
20Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
21And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.
22And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.
23And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
Jesus was on his way to Gethsemane. He had just offered his great intercessory prayer, which is recorded in John 17. He then crossed the brook which David, the king of Israel, also crossed in one of the darkest hours of his life.
How must Jesus have felt as He went with his disciples to the place where He was to engage in the fiercest spiritual conflict which He had yet endured? The multitudes were in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover. No doubt, they thought they were serving God, but they were rejecting the true Lamb of God. The disciples did not fully realize what was happening. They had just disputed "who of them should be accounted the greatest."
Jesus had told them that all would be offended in him that very night. Furthermore, He had told Peter, "Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."
How it must have pained Jesus that those nearest to him understood so little of the truth! Yet, how patient He was with them! He experienced deep and inexpressible sorrow of soul. He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." The powers of darkness began violently to assail him. The fiercest struggle was yet to come.
Let us meditate this day on Christ's sorrows, his inner struggle, and his deep loneliness in his suffering.
Our Father in heaven, help us to understand the sufferings of Christ, which He suffered in his soul for us. When his soul was troubled, and He exclaimed, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; when the sorrows of death compassed him about, and the pains of hell got hold upon him; when He found trouble and sorrow; when all his friends forsook him, and He suffered extreme loneliness; and when He cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Help us to remember that He suffered all this for us. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: 2 Sam. 15:23; Luke 22:24; Matt. 26:34.
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