Summary: This is part of the Easter series, "A Journey To and From Easter." We are exploring the road Jesus took to the cross, We look at entrance upon this road and what we can expect when we take this road to our own crosses, along with the help we can expect.
A Journey To and From Easter
Today we’re continuing down the road to Easter in our series, “A Journey To and From Easter.” Up to this point we’ve looked at the road Jesus told us to take if we want eternal life, and that is the narrow road as opposed to the wide road that leads to destruction.
Last week we looked at the road Jesus took as He entered into Jerusalem, or the Jerusalem Road. And on that road we saw that it was a road of humility, fulfillment, obedience, and a road that leads to our destiny.
It was this last aspect of the Jerusalem road that got me thinking about the next road Jesus took. It’s a road that continues from the Jerusalem road, and that is the road that leads to Calvary and the cross. And so I’ve entitled today’s message and the next road we find ourselves on, a road that leads to our own destinies, and that is “Calvary Road.”
After Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples they left Jerusalem to stay in a very familiar place, a place where they stayed many times before, the Garden of Gethsemane. And it was from the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus entered upon this road that would now lead Him to Calvary’s hill and the cross.
Today what I’d like to lay out before us is not only how Jesus entered onto this road, which is the way we need to enter it as well, but also what it means to travel upon this road, which is what every one of us will go through as believers in Jesus Christ.
First, we cannot even think of entering this road unless we do so the way Jesus did
Entrance Begins With Prayer
Once they arrived at Gethsemane, He asked Peter, James, and John to watch and pray as He went further in and began to pray. Jesus prayed that if it were possible that the hour, that which He was going to experience, the mocking, suffering, the excruciating physical pain of the cross, coupled with the emotional and spiritual pain of being separated from His Father, Jesus prayed that it would pass Him by.
“He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’” (Mark 14:36 NKJV)
You see, Jesus knew everything that lay before Him long before He entered the Garden that night. In John’s gospel it says that when they came to arrest Him Jesus knew exactly who they were there for and what would take place.
“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’” (John 18:4 NKJV)
Knowing what lay before Him Jesus knew He had to pray to receive guidance from His heavenly Father, so He prayed, but it wasn’t’ just a quick in and out prayer like most of us are use to; rather it was an urgent and intense prayer. We see this in that three times he went back to pray and in Luke’s account it says that he was in such agony, praying so earnestly that His sweat become like great drops of blood.
And while it was a prayer for the Father’s help, it was also a prayer for the Father’s will to be accomplished through Him.
In similar manner we all know what lies in front of us, not specifically, but generally we know, which is trials and tribulations. Jesus even said so. He said that while in Him we can have peace, in the world we’ll have tribulation, but we’re not to worry because He has overcome the world.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)
To face what lies before us, we need, like Jesus, heavenly guidance for the journey ahead, and this guidance comes from both God’s word and prayer.
God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light unto our paths it says in Psalm 119:105. And in Hebrews it says that God’s word is living and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword piercing and dividing our soul and spirit, Hebrews 4:12.
But along with God’s word we need to pray, but not just a short “let me have this or that” prayer; rather we need to start getting serious with God and pray, getting alone with God. And our prayers need to be consistent and fervent. And the reason is because the days are getting short as we are approaching the End of Days.
And finally our prayers need to be kingdom of God oriented, that is, we pray for God’s kingdom to come, God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.