Summary: A visit to Gethsemane to learn from Jesus the way to face life’s times of crisis with power that comes from God and to take that into our next hard time
1. Title: A Walk Through The Garden
3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, March 26, 2006, 1st in the 4 part series “Walk To The Cross”
-for the people to examine the actions of Jesus at Gethsemane and to learn how He handled loneliness, disappointment, threat, fear of the future, and all that was coming down upon Him at that time; to learn how Jesus took the hardest moments head-on with prayer, with fellowship, with general dependence on the Father; to see how God answered the prayers of Jesus and ministered to His needs in such a way that He was able to rise up and face the most difficult of moments with power
-for the people to feel a closeness with and appreciation for Jesus because of what He endured on our behalf; to feel moved to the same approach that Jesus used to face His crisis time
-for the people to take the approach of Jesus into their greatest times of crisis, especially any they are facing right now
5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to learn from Jesus the way to face life’s times of crisis with power that comes from God and to take that into their next hard time
6. Type: textual
7. Dominant Thought: Jesus faced His great moment of crisis with helps that are there for us to use
Ill - This past week, I drove across Illinois a couple of times, and there, outside Effingham, at the intersection of I-57 and I-70 stands a 198 foot cross. It was constructed by the cross foundation. You’d have to try hard to not see it. Some 50,000 travelers drive by there each day, and the Cross Foundation wants the site to serve as a beacon of hope to everyone who sees it. For those who learn about it and come to understand it, the cross has profound meaning. So, for the next few weeks, I don’t want us to all drive to Effingham. Instead, in your mind’s eye, I want us to walk with Jesus to the cross. It’s just a few hours of His life on earth, but it’s the very center of His whole reason for becoming human
This morning we look in on Jesus at a most crucial time. There was a hill outside Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley, called the Mount of Olives. On that hillside was a grove of some kind, named Gethsemane. It means Olive press, and it was a favorite place where Jesus and His disciples would go to get away. You’ll often hear it called the “Garden of Gethsemane.” After the Last Supper, Jesus led His disciples through Jerusalem, out into the night air, through a gate, across the Kidron Valley, and up the Mt. of Olives. It was the last time they’d be together before the cross. Jesus wanted to be there with His friends. I believe He wants us there too. He must, because all 4 gospels describe what happened there.
We’ve seen Jesus, rejoicing at the success of His disciples, authoritatively kicking money changers from the temple, attracting multitudes of people, even raising the dead. The Garden of Gethsemane shows us Jesus burdened with troubles, facing crisis, struggling.
So, let’s take a walk through the garden this morning – not to check the green beans or the flowers, but to learn from Jesus how we can face life with courage and strength.
I. You’ve Got Problems
Do you have problems? I’m not psychic. I just know it’s true. You’ve got problems. They’re physical, psychological, financial, mechanical, or relational. They’re big or small. They’re new or old. They’re over, they’re happening now, or they’re about to happen, but you’ve got problems. You may have put on your church face and tried to walk in here like you don’t have any, but you’ve got problems.
That night, in the garden, Jesus was facing some problems too – problems that you sometimes face.
Not all of these will apply to you, but I’m thinking that somewhere along the way there’s at least a couple that will speak to most of us.
1. Fear of the future
If you knew that this was the day you’re going to die, would you have gotten out of bed as early this morning? If you knew that you were going to die in a car accident, would you have been as quick to get into your car? You don’t know the future. If you did, that would be hard to deal with. Not knowing it is hard enough.
What’s going to happen with Iran? When will the next large-scale terrorist attack happen? Is it safe to send my kids to school? What’s going to happen with my job? Who will I marry, and will I have a good marriage? What will my kids turn out to be? What’s going to happen to my body as I get older? Some of us, to one degree or another, have some fear of the future.