Summary: Jesus in the garden reveals some important aspects of God's desire for us!
• SLIDE #1
• We are starting a new series simply called the “Easter Series.”
• Nothing catchy, but simply some straightforward issues that Easter should bring to the forefront for all of us.
• Today we are going to be in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus as this will be one of the final times He is with the disciples before He is arrest and later led to crucifixion.
• Jesus enters the garden around 10 pm Thursday or as late as midnight. Up to this point Thursday had been a very event filled day.
• The Passover feast, the washing of the disciples feet, Judas betrayal, the prediction by Jesus of Peter’s upcoming denials, the Lord’s Supper was instituted, and now Jesus is in the garden He knows His arrest and subsequent crucifixion are just moments away.
• In the Garden of Gethsemane, which the word GETHSEMANE means “PLACE OF HE OIL PRESSES”, Jesus will prepare to face His fate.
• Given the nature of what was about to happen to Jesus face, this seems like an appropriate place to spend His final moments of freedom.
• As you look at the title to the message this morning we need to realize that Gethsemane and all the events that took place after that time was is an issue of God’s will not only being carried out but being embraced by Jesus!
• Gethsemane teaches us that the kingdom of God is entered only through the denial of one's own will and the affirmation of the will of God.
• Therefore, the cross must stand central to an understanding of the kingdom.
• Since the essence of the kingdom is our obedience to the absolute will of God, we understand it only as we bring our own will to the foot of the cross.
• No self-will can live unchallenged in God's kingdom. Dennis Corrigan in Bridge Builder (Nov./Dec. 1988). Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 4.
• Had Jesus escaped the cross, we would not have the opportunity for eternal life; we would not be able to be in God’s presence much less a part of His family.
• As Jesus could not avoid the cross, we cannot avoid it either!
• Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him daily!
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 10:38 (ESV) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
• Jesus is speaking about obedience to God’s will; in others words are we willing to obediently follow the will of God in our life!
• Today as we kneel next to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane just a short time before He is arrested, my prayer is that through the example of Jesus we can gain some insight into what we are called to and why we can trust God enough to live our life guided by God’s will for us!
• Let’s start with verses 32-35
• SLIDE #3
• Mark 14:32–35 (ESV) 32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
• SLIDE #4
I. Jesus shows us God is with us even in the darkest hour. (32-35)
• When Jesus was getting ready to face the long night of trials, beatings and eventual crucifixion, Jesus takes time to go to the Father for prayer.
• How many of us regarding prayer just feel we do not have the time to do it, or that we have other more important things to do?
• Jesus is preparing to complete the mission of redeeming mankind, yet Jesus finds time to pray.
• Of all the things Jesus could have spent His final hours doing, He chose to pray.
• Jesus could have delivered more sermons, He could have healed more people, yet Jesus spent his final moments of freedom in prayer.
• Jesus does not intend on busting out a 30 second thank you for my food prayer, He is going to be in serious prayer time!
• Jesus enters the garden and He asks the disciples to sit and wait.
• The words SIT HERE, while I pray express distressingly His loneliness.
• Into the agony over the acceptance of the will of God He could take no one, not even his dearest friends.
• He reached the point where He had to say, "You sit here," while He went on by himself. This was to be His solitary experience.