After celebrating the Passover meal with His disciples in Jerusalem, Jesus takes them outside the city to the olive grove at the foot of the Mount of Olives; Gethsemane.
This name, derived from the Aramaic ‘Gath shemanim’, means: olive press.
In Gethsemane, the enormous pressure of the coming suffering comes upon Jesus.
In Luke 12 verse 50 He says:
"But I must be baptized with a baptism; and how great is My distress (or: and how I am pressed) until it is accomplished!"
In the garden Jesus wants to pray. He distances Himself from His disciples, becomes very sad and terrified. Fully aware of the suffering to come, He falls on the ground and prays to His Father if it is possible that it might pass Him by.
But immediately He adds:
"But not what I will, but what You will’.
Psalm 40 verse 9 prophesies of Jesus:
"I delight, O my God, to do Thy good pleasure; Your law I carry deep within My heart".
John 6 verse 38:
"For I came down from heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of Him that sent Me".
That Jesus desires to undergo suffering shows His complete obedience to the Father and also His great love towards us. He knew why He had to suffer and did not suffer as a martyr:
Mark 10 verse 45:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to minister, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
He vicariously bore the penalty that we have deserved for our sin.
In the institution of the Lord’s Supper He referred to this:
Mark 14 verse 24:
And He said to them: "This is My blood, the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many".
Not only the fear of physical suffering, but the full weight of God’s wrath for the sin of the world came upon Jesus. That’s what made it so extraordinarily hard.
During His prayer, the disciples fell asleep. When He returns to them, Jesus is disappointed that they could not watch with Him for one hour.
He instructs them:
"Watch all and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak".
Jesus gave the example of how His disciples can stand in trial, namely through prayer beforehand.
During His prayer struggle, Jesus is strengthened by His Father.
Luke 22 verse 43.
Then He knowingly accepts suffering. His soul is completely united with the will of His Father.