¡§GETHSEMANE: PRAYING UNDER PRESSURE¡¨
Her name was Laurie. I only met her one time and that was for less than an hour. It was in the ICU at a university hospital. It was the last day of Laurie¡¦s life on earth, only neither of us knew that at the time. During the brief time I spent with her she asked one question and uttered one prayer. The question was for God, ¡§Why have I had to suffer so much?¡¨ At 36 years old, after a life of much hurt and intense suffering she now was laboring for every breath hoping for a lung transplant that would never come. I told her of Jesus Christ and of the place called heaven where there is no suffering. I asked if she would want to go there. She said, ¡§Yes¡¨ so I told her how to get there and she prayed one prayer the prayer of salvation expressing her faith and trust in Christ alone. She found peace and strength in the worst of times through a question, a prayer and the presence of God. And before another day could pass she died and went to be with the Lord.
When I read the opening words to our passage: (Mark 14:32 NASB) ¡§¡K And they came to a place named Gethsemane¡K¡¨ I thought of Laurie and her suffering, her prayer and the strength God gave to her. Although she probably had never heard of a place called Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus prayed on the eve of His death, she probably understood more than me what that experience was like for Jesus. Gethsemane )Mt. Of Olives = ¡§Oil Press¡¨ where the olive would be crushed to produce the oil¡K
¡§¡K And they came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed. 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." 35 And He went a little beyond them (Lk - a stone¡¦s throw = 30-50 yards), and fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by¡K¡¨
But the hour didn¡¦t pass Him by¡K and neither will the hour of testing pass us by as we live out our lives here on earth. Sooner or later each of us will find ourselves in a Gethsemane like experience¡K (crushed and broken) We too will have a question, a prayer and the presence of God¡K God will meet us there and help us if we will let Him¡K
PROP: Lets look at this experience in the life of Christ together
and learn how to handle the Gethsemane like experiences of our lives.
TRANS: There Are Three Parts To His Experience That Can Help US With Ours
1. The Experience of His Pain ---¡V He Hurt Very Deeply
2. The Experience of His Prayer ¡V He Prayed Very Intensely
3. The Experience of His Power ¡V He was Strengthened Supernaturally
Setting: The occasion was the evening before His crucifixion. Jesus and His disciples had finished the Passover meal, Judas had left to betray Him and Jesus now took the 11 disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane so He could pray as He awaited His arrest and crucifixion. He has left 8 disciples at the entrance and taken 3 with him. He then instructs them and leaves them so He can pray alone¡K