Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
March 21– Morning
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“The time is coming when you will be scattered; everyone will go to his own home, and you will leave me alone.”
Only a few had fellowship with the sorrows of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The majority of the disciples had not advanced in grace enough to behold the mysteries of his agony. Occupied with the Passover feast at their own houses, they represent the many who rejoice in the letter of the Gospel but are mere infants when it comes to understanding its spirit.
Only the twelve (or, more accurately, the eleven) had the privilege of entering Gethsemane to see “this great sight.” Out of the eleven, eight were left at a distance and only three (Peter, James, and John) were allowed to come close. Only they could approach the veil of our Lord’s mysterious sorrow. But, within that veil, even they could not intrude; Jesus must tread the wine-press alone, and no one can go with him there.
Throughout history there have been some who have known great sacrifice and pain for the Lord’s sake, having to navigate through raging storms on large lakes. To some degree they can understand the huge ocean waves of their Redeemer’s passion. They have heard the pleadings of the suffering High Priest; they have fellowship with him and are conformed to his death.
But even these cannot penetrate the secret place of the Savior’s suffering. The ancient Greek liturgy speaks of Christ’s “unknown sufferings,” referring to the inner chamber in our Master’s grief, shut out from human knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is “left alone,” and it is there that he was more than ever an “Unspeakable gift!” [M&E]