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Humble Hero

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    Jesus Hungered for Human Sympathy

    The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. Christ felt this longing to the very depths of His being. He came to His disciples yearning to hear some words of comfort. He longed to know that they were praying for Him and for themselves. How dark seemed the evil of sin! Terrible was the temptation to let the human race bear its own guilt, while He stood innocent before God. If He could only know that His disciples appreciated this, it would strengthen Him.HH 318.4

    But He “found them sleeping.” If He had found them seeking refuge in God so that satanic agencies would not be victorious over them, He would have been comforted. But they had not heeded His warning, “Watch and pray.” They had not intended to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor that they could have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. When the Savior needed their prayers the most, they were asleep.HH 318.5

    The disciples woke up when Jesus spoke to them, but they hardly knew Him, His face was so changed by anguish. Addressing Peter, Jesus said, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus feared that they would not be able to endure the test of His betrayal and death.HH 318.6

    Again the Son of God came under superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle. His suffering was even greater than before. “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish. From their leafy branches heavy dew dropped on His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness.HH 318.7

    A short time before, Jesus had stood like a mighty cedar, withstanding the storm of opposition that exhausted its fury on Him. Now He was like a reed beaten and bent by the angry storm. Like Someone who was already glorified, He had claimed to be one with God. Now His voice rose on the still evening air, and it was full of human anguish, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”HH 319.1

    Again Jesus felt a longing for some words from His disciples that would break the spell of darkness that nearly overpowered Him. But their eyes were heavy, “and they did not know what to answer Him.” They saw His face marked with the bloody sweat of agony, but they could not understand His anguish of mind. “His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” Isaiah 52:14.HH 319.2

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