Occasionally within these pages I share excerpts from my published work, which is the case with this featured prose from my book Cloud by Day/Fire by Night, Chapter Nine, titled A Willing Heart with a sub-title of Gethsemane Grail. 

The closer I have gotten to God over the years, the more I try to understand the mind of Christ, God in human form. God with a will to suffer as a man to effect his grand plan. God embodied in the flesh with human suffering. God as the ultimate sacrifice.

The Gethsemane groaning (for reference see Romans 8:22), when Christ, God made flesh, cries out in his human fear. Knowing as God what is yet to befall him. Knowing the pain and anguish yet to be faced. The humiliation, the isolation, the utter desperation and total abandonment he must, as sin offering for the world, endure.

Seeking human comfort perhaps, he reaches out to his inner circle of friends only to find them sleeping.

Will you be found sleeping when he comes to call?


(Gethsemane Grail)

The ancient olive trees of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, witnesses to Christ’s suffering…

From Gethsemane’s glade the anguished cry on Godly wings did rise, as army tramplers in the night bespoke a dark disguise. Those friends familiar standing by, a watch they could not make, while one of them still strong a’foot his friend he came to take.

Yea mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me, But thou O Lord, be merciful unto me and raise me up, that I may requite them.

My God! My God! the cry rang out, could not this pass from me? As prostrate on that rock he lay in groaning agony. His human fear had gripped him hard, his sweat as drops of blood, as he called out to Abba God to save him if he would.

Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan beset me round. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

Yet, not my will but thine be done; that blood-stained altar-stone a witness to the sacrifice, a grieving heavenly groan. On angels wings the father God from heaven did come to call, to nurture and encourage him for what was yet to fall.

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Betrayal kiss upon the cheek from one he knew so well, and then the shackled rough-shod walk, a fearful march to hell. A cock-crow shrill ahead of dawn, no chance to lay his head, denial’s trumpet loud and clear, portent of things ahead.

And I said unto them, If ye think good give me my price, and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

Father forgive them, for they know not what they do … A forever forgiving Christ.

The lonely stance amidst them all encompassed by the mob, a pitied playful punching bag, a stifled choking sob. The wicked flagellum across his chest, the flesh all torn apart, those rabid shouts of Crucify! that pierced his breaking heart.

False witnesses did rise up, they laid to my charge things that I knew not (He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth).

Strung high upon that bloody cross as life it slowly ebbed, forsaken and forgotten there, his soul in fearful dread. No earthly help nor heavenly call would stay him from his fate, as round the tree they yelled at him, shook fists in vengeful hate.

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked the hair; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting (but he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed).

Then through his darkest hour he coursed, abandoned and alone, till echoing through his pain-wracked mind he heard a call for home. Lord, please remember me today (a voice from somewhere near), today in Paradise we’ll be, words soothing to the ear!

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong because he hath poured out his soul unto death. And he was numbered with the transgressors and he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.

So thus the Lamb of God was gone, an answer to the call, who took upon himself all sin and gave his life for all. Centurion’s cry from ‘neath the tree when he saw what was done, “This righteous man was God himself, indeed this was God’s Son!”

Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men, yea for the rebellious also that the Lord God might dwell among them.

Christ calling the disciples to breakfast following his resurrection … The 153 fish in John 21:11

And then in triumph did he rise and thus appeared to them, those friends of his who days before had all abandoned him. But while they’d grieved and mourned his life and wrestled with their strife, the Carpenter had shaped the cross into a tree of life.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave for he shall receive me.

O silent glade in Olivet how well thy story’s told! A Savior’s labor and travail his Godly will to hold. An earthly womb to bring it forth ‘fore heavenly host and man, anointed holy sepulcher, how well the course he ran!

Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.


Psalm 41:9-10; Psalm 22:12-14; Psalm 2:6-7; Zechariah 11:12; Psalm 35:11; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 49:15; Isaiah 26:2-4;

All content Cloud by Day/Fire by Night Copyright (C) 2001/2011 by Dennis G. Hurst


Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria! He is risen indeed!