7. The Cost of the Ultimate Purpose
Finally, we come to Matthew 26:45: "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the "hour" is at hand ... It is significant that following upon a prayer for oneness and fellowship in and with Himself that would be so deep and strong that nothing could destroy it, the Lord should find Himself without a single wakeful helper in "the hour" of His deepest need. He is going to have His heart's desire, but on the one hand He has first to pay the price, and on the other hand something has to be done to get those concerned on to the stable rock of the Divine and off this insecure sand of the human.
He must tread the winepress alone; this is where (to quote His words to Peter) "thou canst not follow Me now." His disciples did not yet realize what was going on. The mighty issues were not perceived by them. He alone knew all that was involved, and while His human nature cried out for companionship and cooperation, He, and only He, could go "forward a little" to that deep "yonder" (Matthew 26:39, 36).
"And He went forward a little, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but at Thou wilt.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto His disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray."
He was tasting a desolation essential to His office and work which no other one need ever taste in the same measure. There is fellowship, however, in His sufferings which, while not being of an atoning character, relates to the outworking of what He has done.
As with Him, so with His servants, one of the deepest points and the greatest costs is loneliness - the loneliness where no one else is able to appreciate what is going on, what God is doing, what is the meaning of the stranger features which are apparent.
Before there can be true fellowship and oneness in the great spiritual realities, a fellowship of a lesser sort has to break down; and then ensues this costly isolation, before eyes begin to be opened and understanding is given. There will then come into being a fellowship over which death has no power.
The price of leadership in these things is terrible loneliness, but the end makes it worth while. He Who was cut off from the last human companion in the Garden is at length seen encompassed by "a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation, and of all tribes and peoples and tongues" (Revelation 7:9). Any loneliness which may come to us in fellowship with Him now will not issue in our having a company of our own, but something far greater; it will have helped in the securing for the Lamb that was slain the reward of His sufferings. It will be an ample reward for us to be standing by and, with increasing intensity and emphasis, to cry:
Crown Him! Crown Him!
Angels, crown Him!
Crown the Saviour 'King of kings!'
Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him
Lord of all.