[Written by Dr. Chris Peters]
For some years now, I have been challenged and blessed by the simple song “Go to Dark Gethsemane.” From what I can tell, not many contemporary Christians have heard or sung it. Perhaps there are musical reasons for that, but the words are profound, and I trust will strengthen and enlighten all who ponder and apply them, especially this Easter week. Below are the lyrics followed by one rendition of the song. Note, in particular, the call to unite with Christ in his life and death. This might seem a bit mystical, but is in fact a privilege for all believers, simply through faith in Christ’s gracious sacrificial death for all of us sinners, and a repentant intention of our hearts to turn to him and away from denying his Lordship in our lives.
In particular, this week, note the final line of each stanza calling us to take spiritual steps – Pray, Bear, Die, Rise
1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
You who feel the tempter’s pow’r;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
2 Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the worm-wood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.
3 Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb
There’ adoring at His feet,
Mark the miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete:
“It is finished!” Hear the cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
4 Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid his breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom;
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is ris’n! He meets our eyes:
Savior, teach us so to rise.