Phil Newton describes Jesus’ agonizing in Gethsemane this way…
“All of the purity of his soul would be opened to the pitch-black darkness of human sinfulness. Our lies, lusts, deceitfulness, anger, complaining, cheating accompanied an innumerable host of sins, saturating as a sponge in water upon the spotless bosom of Jesus Christ. Our rebellion against the Law of God and our unbelief in Him as a merciful Redeemer in all of its lurid detail strikes the Son. In His own being He felt the combined weight of the world’s sins. That is why we find Him agonizing in the Garden as He fulfilled His high priestly office. He was soon to “appear before God” on our behalf, sprinkling His own blood upon the mercy seat, satisfying the divine cry of “Justice, Justice, Justice!” See Him bearing your sin. See Him agonizing over His separation from the Father. See how He feels the pains of hell upon His own spotless soul. And for whom? For someone who has known the glories of the gospel and is creeping back into the world or retreating to his own devices.
Get your eyes off of your own complaints and your own self-pity! Look at Him who “offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears.” What was He doing? As the only sinless man He was expressing the agony of bearing sin; and as the only great high priest He was submitting to the will of the Father. And the Father “heard Him because of His piety.” He does not hear us because of our “piety” or godly fear. He hears us because of Jesus Christ! (1Ti 2:5, He 7:25) Rather than die in the Garden from the horrid weight of separation from the Father and bearing the weight of our sin, the Father sustained the Son through the trauma of the Cross, so that He might declare, “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30) His prayers were heard and the answer came as He successfully bore the judgment of God for us (Gal 3:13, 1Pe 2:24, 25-note) at the Cross and then rose from the dead in victory (Acts 4:2, 17:32, 23:6, 24:21, 26:23, Ro 1:4-note, 1 Co 15:21, 22, 54, 55 56 57, 1Pe 1:3).”
A. W. Pink wrote…
“Into what infinite depths of humiliation did the Son of God descend! How unspeakably dreadful was His anguish! What a hideous thing sin must be if such a sacrifice was required for its atonement! How real and terrible a thing is the wrath of God! What love moved Him to suffer so on our behalf! What must be the portion of those who despise and reject such a Saviour!” (Hebrews 10: 29)
My God, I Love Thee
My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for Heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
May eternally die.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.
And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E’en death itself; and all for man
Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessèd Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast lovèd me,
O Everlasting Lord!
E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my eternal King.