Thursday is the day that marks the Passover meal. The day was spent in preparation and the meal was eaten after sunset. Jesus ate with the twelve disciples and washes their feet. The hour is at hand and Jesus seeks the Father. He tells the disciples that his soul is sorrowful even unto death. He asks them to watch and pray with him but their flesh is weak and they fall asleep. Jesus prayed, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. Matthew 26:42
Jesus prayed alone and then woke disciples telling them it was time. Judas betrayed him with a kiss and the Bible tells us they laid hands on Jesus and took him. The disciples’ reaction was to fight. A sword was drawn and an ear was smote.
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Matthew 26:52-54
Yes, it was by choice. It was because of His love for us that he chose to led like a lamb to slaughter. He chose us knowing what he must endure.
Go to Dark Gethsemane (1820)
Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter’s power; Your Redeemer’s conflict see; watch with him one bitter hour; Turn not from His grief away; Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
Tis Midnight; And on Olive’s Brow (1822)
‘Tis midnight: and on Olive’s brow the star is dimmed that lately shone; ‘This midnight in the garden now the suffering Savior prays alone.
‘Tis midnight and from all removed the Emmanuel wrestles lone with fears; E’en the disciple that He loved heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.
‘Tis midnight and for others’ guilt, the Man of Sorrows weeps in blood: yet he that hath in anguish knelt is not forsaken by his God.
Julia Scott and Sharon White