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43. The Prayer of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Entering the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go yonder and pray." Taking with Him Peter, James, and John, He went deep into the garden, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then, He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with Me." And going a little farther, he fell on His face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt."

Having prayed thus, Jesus Christ returned to the three disciples and found them sleeping. He said to them, "So you could not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation." Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy, and they did not know what to answer Him.

So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time saying the same words. And there appeared to Him an angel from Heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling from His brow to the ground.

And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and said, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."

While He was still speaking, Judas, the betrayer, came with a great crowd with lanterns, and torches, and weapons. It was a band of soldiers and some officers sent by the chief priests and Pharisees to seize Jesus Christ. Judas spoke with them, "The One I shall kiss is the man; seize Him."

He came up to Jesus at once and said, "Hail, Master!" And he kissed Him.

Jesus Christ said to Him, "Friend, why are you here? Would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?" These words of the Saviour were for Judas the last appeal to repentance.

Then, Jesus Christ knowing all that was to befall Him came forward to the throng and said to them, "Whom do you seek?"

From the crowd they answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."

The Saviour answered, "It is I."

From these words, the soldiers and officers drew back and fell to the ground. When they had recovered from fear and rose, they tried in confusion to seize the disciples of Christ.

The Saviour again said, "Whom do you seek?"

They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

"I told you that I am He," answered the Saviour. "So, if you seek Me, let those men go."

So the band of soldiers and the officers seized and bound Jesus Christ. The apostles wanted to defend their Teacher. Peter having a sword drew it, and struck the high priestís servant, and cut off his right ear.

But Jesus Christ said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath, for all who take the sword shall perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? Shall I not drink the cup (of suffering) which the Father has given Me (for the salvation of people)?"

Having said this, Jesus Christ touched the ear of Malchus, the wounded servant, healed him, and voluntarily gave Himself into the hands of His enemies.

In the crowd of hired soldiers, there were also chief priests, and captains of the Temple, and elders of the Jews. Jesus Christ turning to them said, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the Temple, you did not lay hands on Me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness."

The soldiers, who had seized the Saviour, led Him to the high priest. Then, the apostles forsook the Saviour and fled in fear. Only two of them, John and Peter, followed Him at a distance.

Note: See the Gospels of Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:40-53; John 18:1-12.

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