The Cup

Yesterday I went to Cardiff Museum with my wife, and we went to see an old friend: The agony in the garden by Guercino.

agonyin-gardenI remember going to see that painting on a regular basis when I lived in Cardiff. Although it is the product of the counter-reformation, I think it has an incredible insight into that dark night.

What stands out for me are three things:

The cupfull of nails.

The disciplesasleep.

Jesuslooking upward.

I could look at this painting for hours on end. I find it completely captivating.

Today I have been working on one of the parts of the Bible that is most precious to me: The agony in the garden in Luke 22. In studying it I have found myself feeling physically sick as I realize anew how aware Jesus was of the suffering He was going to face… for me.

In many ways I am petrified of preaching this passage. Listen to some comments:

Stott calls this a ‘sacred scene’.

Kent Hughes comments:

‘Here we are taken into Jesus’ heart as never before… It demands of us a profound reverence, almost a reticence, lest we get it wrong.’

CJ Mahaney says… actually, you can listen to it here:


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