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He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” [NLT]
I would like to link this ministry with our communion service, so that we might have a better appreciation of what the Lord Jesus did for us on Calvary, as I believe the sharing of the bread and wine will be more meaningful for us as a result.
Our text speaks of the Lord going ‘a little further’, and we shall see that He continued to go further, during this time of great trial. I realise that the Lord went further during His life on earth, as He lived a sinless life; a life of caring for others; a life of pointing men and women to the wonderful love of God for them. In each of these He went further than anyone else, showing us an example of how we should live. This morning I want to centre our thinking on the fact that our Lord went further than anyone else as He took our place, dealt with our sin, and purchased our salvation.
I make no apology for drawing you attention to a number of scriptures this morning, let the Word of God speak to our hearts.
First of all I would like to see that He went further as
A. HE WENT TO GETHSEMANE’S TORMENT
AND THE CUP OF SUFFERING
Luke 22:39-46. 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." [NIV]
Here we have a picture of the Lord going ‘a little further’. The disciples could only go so far, the sorrow they felt had exhausted them, and they fell asleep; but Jesus went further and prayed through His personal anguish as He faced the dreadful cup that was His to drink.
The Master is about to taste the bitter dregs in the cup of death for the sin of the world. He was not afraid that he would die before the Cross, though he instinctively shrank from the cup, but instantly surrendered his will to the Father’s will and drank it to the full. [Robertson’s NT Word Pictures]
Gibson, in his comments on these verses says,
"Let this cup pass from Me:" It was not the weakness of the flesh, but the purity of His spirit, that made Him shrink, that wrung from Him once and again, and yet again, the cry, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me." [Gibson]
We need to try and understand that the Lord Jesus lived a perfect life; He is described in the Epistle to the Hebrews as - holy, faultless, unstained, separated from sinners. Hebrews 7:26 [J B Philips]. He fulfilled the requirements of the law, and so could not be penalised by the law, but here He is taking our sin on himself, and so became subject to the law’s penalties – death, the wages of sin is death. [Romans 6:23. NLT]. Yes,
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