Summary: An authentic biblical community relates to Jesus’ humanity. The Garden of Gethsemane gives us an intimate look at our God who willingly became human.
His Name is Jesus – Part 3
March 17, 2002
Big Idea: An authentic biblical community relates to the humanity of Jesus.
Well, it’s official. I have been diagnosed with March Madness. It’s the illness that comes upon all true basketball fans this time of year. I would guess some of you have caught it too.
Last Sunday, I was watching the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament championship game between Ohio State and Iowa. Jim Nantz and Billy Packer were calling the game for CBS.
One of Ohio State’s players, Boban Savovic, was having a great second half. It just seemed like he had found his shooting touch and he couldn’t miss. At one point Packer and Nantz were going on and on, “He’s on fire! There is yet another three-point basket. Boban Savovic has absolutely taken over this game. The Buckeyes are looking to Savovic for points every trip down the court. What a performance! Here he is with the ball again…”
Savovic spotted up for a 20 foot jumper on the left baseline and shot an airball that missed the rim by about a yard and a half.
My comment was, “Well, at least the kid is still human.”
“To err is human,” or so the old proverb goes.
But truthfully we do tend to affirm a person’s humanity precisely when he or she makes a mistake. Mistakes and blunders bring us back down to earth - to the realm of mere mortals.
But what do we do with Jesus?
He didn’t make any mistakes.
The Bible says that everyone has sinned and has fallen short of God’s glorious perfection. Everyone that is, except for Jesus. Jesus never sinned. What do we do with that?
Throughout history, the temptation has been to view Jesus as either too human or not human enough.
Some ancient church leaders couldn’t fully accept his humanity. Because of his miracles, his sinlessness and his resurrection, it was difficult for them to view him as being fully human.
Today many in the general public can’t accept his divinity. If he existed, some might say, he was just a man. They have difficulty seeing that he was fully God.
The Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451 came up with the wording fully God and fully man.
G. Campbell Morgan summed it up when he said, “He was the God-man. Not God indwelling a man. Of such there have been many. Not a man deified. Of such there have been none save in the myths of pagan systems of thought; but God and man, combining in one personality the two natures, a perpetual enigma and mystery, baffling the possibility of explanation.” (G. Campbell Morgan, The Crises of the Christ)
The Garden of Gethsemane is an intimate look at the God who willingly became human.
This was late Thursday night.
Immediately after the Passover meal with his disciples in the upper room…
Read Luke 22:39-46
39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41He 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.” 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45When 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.”
Two weeks ago we learned that an authentic biblical community submits to Jesus’ authority because He is God.
This morning we need to learn that an authentic biblical community relates to Jesus humanity. And when we do there will be an even greater appreciation for Him in our hearts.
TRANSITION: When we relate to Jesus’ humanity…
I. WE RELATE TO HIS EXPERIENCE WITH PAIN
A. There is something very human about pain.
One Christian writer refers to pain as the “gift nobody wants.” Perhaps no one wants it, but it is certainly part of life down here on earth. Daffy Duck used to say, “I can’t stand pain. It hurts me!” But within moments of exiting our mother’s womb, the umbilical cord is cut and we begin to know what it is to hurt.
A few years ago Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage starred in the movie “City of Angels,” the story of a heavenly creature who wants to try an earthly existence – After watching the film, the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls wrote a moving song that included this lyric: “You bleed just to know you’re alive.” (written for City of Angels)