Summary: For Jesus, Gethsemane was a place of worship, a place to surrender his will to the Father; for Judas, it was a place to completely betray Jesus. No location can substitute for the heart.
Gethsemane: Place for Prayer, Place for Betrayal
1. I found a strange article Friday titled, “Bear Saves Man in Mountain Lion Attack.”
2. “Robert Biggs, 69, who often hikes in the Whisky Flats area, came across a mother bear and her cubs, which were about 40 feet from where he was standing.
“After watching the bear family for a few minutes he decided to leave them alone and turned to walk back up the trail. As he turned, a mountain lion pounced on him grabbing hold of his backpack with all four paws.
"He wrestled with the cat, even striking it with a rock pick, but it didn’t let go.
Before he knew it, the mother bear came from behind and pounced on the cat, tearing its grip from the backpack.”[Good News Network]
3. Great picture of two adversaries: Satan and the Messiah who would crush the serpent’s head. By following Satan’s suggestion into sin, the human race was lost. But our Savior is more vicious when it comes to defending his own. No price too big.
4. Today, we will contemplate some of that price.
Main Idea: For Jesus, Gethsemane was a place of worship, a place to surrender his will to the Father; for Judas, it was a place to completely betray Jesus. No location can substitute for the heart.
I. Jesus STRUGGLED in Prayer to Submit to the Father (36-46)
Gethsemane (Gat-Sh’manim)means oil press, perhaps at the base of the Mount of Olives; thought to be fenced in, so the disciples would be keeping watch at the gate. Why keeping watch?
A. He prayed because felt the BRUNT of immeasurable stress (36-38)
• Probably 10 or 11PM, which was considered late in that culture
• Peter, James, and John, the inner three
• He felt as though he could die on the spot from stress…
• Physical pain coming up: “Death by Crucifixion was designed to produce the greatest degree of SHAME, and to inflict the maximum amount of PAIN, for the longest possible period of TIME.” (Christian Cheong, Sermoncentral)
• Spiritual suffering that would atone for all sin for all time
• Please note, folks, that feeling stress is not sinful (vs. unreasonable worry)
B. He chose the Father’s WILL over his own (39)
1. The best way to approach stress is through serious prayer
2. Most difficult temptation of his life
3. His prayer was not answered in the way he asked!
4. The cup is the cup of God’s wrath
Jeremiah 25:25-18, “Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.’ So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day”
Isaiah 51:17, “Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.”
Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
5. Luke adds details about the intensity of this time:“And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:43-44)
6. This is called, “hematidrosis”.. extreme anguish causes ones capillary blood vessels to dilate and burst, mixing sweat and blood.” ESV S.B.
C. He needed human SUPPORT but did not receive it (40-44)
1. Note Jesus was not ashamed to express his struggle, to ask for help, to request support and the presence of others; he did not buy that “absorb it, get over it, and keep it private” approach so many Christians embrace
2. When we need Jesus, Jesus is there; when he needed others, they failed
3. The Jewish people had a tradition of staying up late on Passover night to speak of God’s redemption (Craig Keener)
4. Spirit willing, flesh weak – what does this mean?
5. Why so sleepy? Luke 22:45, “And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow…”
6. John 11:16, “So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’”