Morning, March 24, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“He was heard because of His fear (piety, NASB).” — Hebrews 5:7
Did this piety (reverent fear) arise from the hellish suggestion that he was utterly forsaken? There may be sterner trials than this, but surely it is one of the worst to be utterly forsaken. “See,” said Satan, “You have no friend anywhere! Your Father has shut up the heart of his compassion against you. Not an angel in his courts will stretch out his hand to help you. All heaven is alienated from you; you are left alone. See the companions with whom you have taken special counsel, what are they worth? Son of Mary, see there your brother James, see there your loved disciple John, and your bold apostle Peter: how the cowards sleep when you are suffering! Look! You have no friend left in heaven or earth. All hell is against you. I have stirred up my subterranean den. I have sent my messages throughout all regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon you this night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our hellish might to overwhelm you: and what you do, you solitary one?”
It may be this was the temptation; we think it was, because the appearance of an angel to strengthen him removed that fear. He was heard because he reverently feared; he was no longer alone, but heaven was with him. It may be that this is the reason of his coming three times to his disciples—as the hymnist Joseph Hart put it:
“Backwards and forwards thrice he ran,
As if he sought some help from man.”
He would see for himself whether it was really true that all men had forsaken him; he found them all asleep, but perhaps he gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were sleeping, not from treachery, but from sorrow; the spirit indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak. At any rate, he was heard in that he reverently feared. Jesus was heard in his deepest anguish; my soul, you shall be heard also.