“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."-Mat 26:36-39
“Now, among the Christians there are also new Stoics, who count it depraved not only to groan and weep but also to be sad and care ridden. These paradoxes proceed, for the most part, from idle men who, exercising themselves more in speculation than in action, can do nothing but invent such paradoxes for us. Yet we have nothing to do with this iron philosophy which our Lord and Master has condemned not only by his Word, but also by his example. For he groaned and wept both over his own and others’ misfortunes.”
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) taught at Princeton Seminary, when it was the bastion of Reformed theology, for almost 34 years. He wrote many great books and articles. One such article is titled, “The Emotional Life of our Lord.” In that piece he thoroughly analyzes certain texts of Scripture that record Jesus’ broad, deep, and sinless human emotions. It can be found for free online.
Reread the last two sentences of the Calvin quote above and then take in the following excerpt from Warfield’s article. He is writing about Jesus’ emotions relative to His crucifixion:
“In these supreme moments our Lord sounded the ultimate depths of human anguish, and vindicated on the score of the intensity of his mental sufferings the right to the title of Man of Sorrows. The scope of these sufferings was also very broad, embracing that whole series of painful emotions which runs from a consternation that is appalled dismay, through a despondency which is almost despair, to a sense of well-nigh complete desolation. In the presence of this mental anguish the physical tortures of the crucifixion retire into the background, and we may well believe that our Lord, though he died on the cross, yet died not of the cross, but, as we commonly say, of a broken heart, that is to say, of the strain of his mental suffering. The sensitiveness of his soul to affectional movements, and the depths of the currents of feeling which flowed through his being, are thus thrown up into a very clear light. And yet it is noticeable that while they tore his heart and perhaps, in the end, broke the bonds which bound his fluttering spirit to its tenement of clay, they never took the helm of life or overthrew either the judgment of his calm understanding or the completeness of his perfect trust in his Father.” Warfield goes on to say, “His very passion was his own action. He had power to lay down his life; and it was by his own power that he laid down his life, and by his own power that he trod the whole pathway of suffering which led up to the formal act of laying down his life.”
His love for you caused Him to experience unspeakable emotional and mental pain. Let’s remember that this week when it hurts to love others. (Justin)