The garden of the olive press

AT every step in that last week at Jerusalem we see Jesus master of the situation and not its victim, controlling events even when men think they have him in their power, making the hour for preparation for the disciples and himself; choosing the time for his rendezvous with his enemies. Master at every moment, shall we say, but one – the mystery of the agony in the garden of the Olive Press when he prays that the cup may pass, yet submits his own will to his Father’s.

During this week and up to his breathing out his life upon the Cross he more completely than ever lives out the things that were written. Thus it must be – the Son of Man must suffer. Yet he is not merely acting a pre-ordained role; he is meeting his enemies with all the power of his mind and the depth of his own knowledge of “the scriptures, and the power of God”. It is they who are fulfilling the prophecy; he knows the course it will take, and he lives it through as the Lamb of God, but he grieves as he sees them going in all assurance the way to their own fore-written doom, judging themselves while they think they are judging him.

L. G. SARGENT, Mark: The Gospel of the Son of God, page 212.