Summary: As we look at the disicples this mornig, we see Jesus has a word for us as He tells us to spiritually be awake.
Asleep at the wheel
We started last week a mini -series for Easter called “journey to the cross.”
Last week we saw Jesus telling His disciples that if they (we) were truly going to follow Jesus; we would have to do three things.
(1) Deny yourself (2) Take up your cross (3) Follow Him.
The Scripture this morning again is dialogue between Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus brings them to Gethsemane, a garden at the lower slopes of Mount of Olives.
That is what Gethsemane means, “Olive press” a place of squeezing the oil from the olives.
That seems like a fitting name to me for a place that Jesus would communicate with God The Father a day before the plan of God would come to pass.
A place where the disciples would get yet another lesson of prayer and communication and what was expected of them as followers of Christ.
Matthew chapter 26:36-46
This passage paints a picture for me- I see Jesus with His disciples as several times Jesus desires them to be in prayer for what was about to happen, and several different times they fell short. They were asleep.
Jesus, who was all God and all man was overwhelmed with sorrow and had upon Him the weight of the world.
One day, my little brain may understand how my God could be all man for me and carry the sins and sorrow of mankind to the point of death.
The only way I know is Jesus was not just any martyr, but He was the Lamb of God bearing the sins of an entire human race. Jesus was ready and getting in position to be my sin offering to God the Father.
Jesus the first time (38) “Stay here and keep watch with me.” “Yet not my will, but as you will.”
He comes back again, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour.” “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Don’t race past this last verse and miss what Jesus is telling His disciples.
From the Bible Study this week, we see that the word trial and temptation are taken from the same Greek word.
Trial is something that God wants you to grow through.
Temptation is something that Satan wants you to fall through.
Jesus is telling them (paraphrased) watch out, be praying, that you don’t fall through because your spirit is willing but your body is weak.
James records, “Submit yourselves then, to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you.”
I see Gethsemane as a place that Jesus spoke and received his final instructions on what was going to happen the next day.
I see him being determined to face the cross and walk towards it. Jesus, was not a victim, but He chose to lay down His life down for us purposefully.
“The battle is won. You may have thought it was won at Golgotha, but it wasn’t. You may have thought the sign of victory is the empty tomb. The final battle won was in Gethsemane, for it was in the Garden that he made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you. As we walk toward our Easter celebration of remembrance, Jesus has paid the price for each of us.
I see Jesus plan unfolding, but I also see here the lesson of prayer that He taught his disciples, and comes also to us today.
As we look at Gethsemane, we see Jesus standing alone praying that “Thy Will be done.” The will of the Father, and Jesus is urging the disciples to stay awake and pray.
I believe that is more true everyday- Holy Spirit of God that dwells in a believer is more than willing to help us in our life if we will let him. Today we live in an age where temptation is all around us and the words of Jesus rings out to us watch and pray so that you will not fall.
One night a Arab had settled in for the night and had just fallen asleep when his camel stuck his head in his tent and explained that it was awful cold and asked permission to just stick his legs inside the tent to keep them warm. Granting permission the Arab went back to sleep. A little while later the camel woke him a second time and asked permission to stick his head in. again permission was granted. This continued on throughout the nigh until finally the Arab woke up to the entire camel in the tent with him. When he told the camel that there was just not enough room in the tent for both of them, the camel suggested the Arab might want to leave.