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Verses 42-45

Matthew 26:42-45. He went away again the second time For the sorrow of his soul still continued; and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup, &c. If it be necessary, in pursuance of the great end for which I came into the world, that I should endure these grievous sufferings, thy will be done I acquiesce in thy appointment, how painful soever it may be to flesh and blood: and he came and found them asleep again He returned thus frequently to his disciples, that by reading his distress in his countenance and gesture, they might be witnesses of his passion. Our Lord’s pains on this occasion were intense beyond expression, for he went away the third time to pray, saying the same words as before, that is, offering petitions to the same effect, and in the same spirit of intense desire and perfect resignation. It appears, however, from Luke, that his inward conflict was greater than before, for notwithstanding that an angel was sent from heaven to strengthen his human nature, left to suffer, it seems, without its usual support from the divine, yet the sense of his sorrows so increased, that he was thrown into an agony, and his whole body was strained to such a degree, that his blood was pressed through the pores of his skin along with his sweat, and fell down in great drops to the ground: a circumstance which was the more extraordinary as he was now in the open air, and that in the cool of the night. “Some, indeed, have interpreted Luke’s expression, his sweat was as it were great drops of blood, in a metaphorical sense; fancying that, as those who weep bitterly are said to weep blood, so they may be said to sweat blood who sweat excessively by reason of hard labour or acute pain. But others more justly affirm that our Lord’s sweat was really mixed with blood to such a degree, that its colour and consistency was as if it had been wholly blood.” Macknight. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith, Sleep on now, &c. For by your watching you can show no further kindness and concern for me, who am now to be delivered into the hands of my enemies. Some late interpreters translate this with an interrogation thus, Do ye still sleep on and take your rest? This appears at first to suit better the words which follow, Arise, let us be going. “I cannot, however,” says Dr. Campbell, “help favouring the more common, which is also the more ancient, translation.” Nor is there any inconsistency between this order, which contains an ironical reproof, very natural in such circumstances, and the exhortation which follows, Arise, behold, the hour is at hand The long-expected hour, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners “The Greek word, αμαρτωλων , expresses more here than is implied in the English term sinners. Our Lord thereby signified, that he was to be consigned to the heathen, whom the Jews called, by way of eminence, αμαρτωλοι , because they were idolaters. See Galatians 2:15. For a similar reason they were also called ανομοι , lawless, impious, as destitute of the law of God.”

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