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The Night of Repentance (5 of 16)
Series: Great Nights of the Bible
Clarence E. Macartney
Midnight on the Mount of Olives. The full Passover moon is shining in the Syrian sky, bathing mountain, valley, hillside, and plain, and the ancient city of David in its soft light. Below us is the valley of Kedron, and on the other side rise the huge walls of Jerusalem with their tremendous foundations and massive gates. Within the walls we can see the Temple of Herod, its great door of Corinthian brass-the Gate Beautiful plainly visible in the moonlight. Silence reigns everywhere-not a stir of life on this mountainside, not a light nor a sound of traffic from the distant city.
But now the silence is broken. Walking down the slope of Olivet and through the Garden of Gethsemane where the ancient olive trees cast their shadows over the ground, suddenly we hear a voice of anguish. It is the sound of sobbing. It is the voice of a man crying. I have heard all kinds of crying. I have heard the cry of a little child that was lost. I have heard the cry of the young woman betrayed and abandoned by a faithless lover. I have heard the cry of another over the grave of her child. I have heard the cry of the woman who had been overcome by temptation. But the cry that has always moved me most is the cry of a strong man. That is what we hear tonight at the midnight hour in the shadows of Gethsemane.
The man who is crying so strongly and so bitterly is Peter. We shall not invade the territory of his grief. He has come hither from the palace of Caiaphas where, only an hour ago, he cursed and denied his Lord. This is the meaning of these terrible tears and this voice of agony that echoes through Gethsemane. What was it, Peter, that brought you to this place? Were there not other nearer and equally secluded places where you could have gone and knelt alone in your agony? But you have come here to Gethsemane. Was it because you felt that the only place where you could expre ...
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