After Jesus and his disciples spent the afternoon celebrating Passover inside a room in Jerusalem, he needed to be alone to pray to God. Three of his disciples accompanied Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane before Judas and the Roman soldiers led him to the Pharisees. According to verse 37 of book 26 of Matthew, Jesus “began to be sad and very distressed.” He told his disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with pain to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” Later, he fell face down to the ground and prayed: “My Father, if possible, may this cup be taken from me. But not as I want, but as you.” (Matthew 26: 38-39).

In Gethsemane, Jesus seemed strangely fearful. Throughout the Gospels, He is always brave, strong, and serene. He is the Christ who created heaven and earth. As the Son of God, he never showed any kind of fear. But in the garden he was not only worried about his fate, he was also trembling, stuttering and frantically pacing back and forth between God and his disciples. He asked God if there was another way, but received no answer. He fell face down, too weak to even stand up (Matthew 26:39). Lucas says he was so distraught that his forehead was sweating blood.

Many Christians have the misconception that Jesus was dying only because of the physical pain he would endure the next day, which included being flogged, beaten by Roman guards and placing a helmet of long, sharp thorns on his head and, finally, the crucifixion. But Jesus seemed more consumed by the “cup”.

Why did Jesus ask the Father if he could remove the “cup”? It was the cup of wrath that contained all the sins of humanity and He would bear them on the Cross. All sins are taken away from the individual who does not accept the sacrifice of Jesus when death comes; the sinner goes to hell where torment is violently inflicted every second for eternity.

God probably gave Jesus a glimpse into the horrors of hell to show him and prepare him for all the inflictions he would experience on the cross. What Jesus felt was hell itself, already creeping around His soul, while visions of hell horrified Him to the depths of His soul. For a time, Satan probably tempted Jesus. If he took the cup, he would pay for the sins of all the inhabitants of the Earth. To save itself from going to hell and enjoy eternal life in heaven, the soul must believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.

To get an idea of ​​what hell is like for each sinner who goes there, we must ask those who went there after they died and soon came back to life. Ronald Whitaker was a “staunch” atheist and sinner. Many years ago, he became seriously ill with acute hemorrhagic necrotic pancreatitis and knew that death was fast approaching him. That night, as he lay in a hospital bed, his body slid many times into the “darkness” that frightened him and called it “unspeakable terror”. Many testimonies from other unrepentant sinners who claimed to have traveled to hell after temporarily dying woke up “screaming”, “terrified” and “scared” after witnessing many other people being tortured by huge and ferocious demons whose bodies they were tearing apart. Some claim they saw burning souls whose bodies repeatedly disintegrated and then became whole again.

We cannot begin to fathom what happened to the only Son of God in Gethsemane. All we have is the Biblical Scriptures of Matthew and Luke that record what Jesus told them. We know that before the mob that came to arrest Him, He had received the strength and joy that prepared Him to endure physical torture and drink the spiritual cup of God’s wrath so that believing souls could go to heaven and enjoy of eternal life.

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