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Summary: Life can put grips and holds on you that God can bring you out of.

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“Journey Through Gethsemane: Part I”

Matthew 26:36a

Grips in the Garden

Introduction: The spladle, the guillotine, the cross-face cradle, the half-nelson & twist, the cement mixer. These are grips or moves that are almost certain to lead to a pin in wrestling.

In the next few weeks we are going to take a journey through Gethsemane. The purpose of today’s sermon is to look at some grips on Christ that would have taken most, if not all, us out. The Passion of Christ, from the Latin patior meaning "suffer," refers to those sufferings Our Lord endured for our redemption from the agony in the garden until His death on Calvary. The Passion narratives of the Gospels provide the details of Our Lord’s passion. Gethsemane was part of the life of the Savior.

Gethsemane--("oil-press"). Beyond the brook Kedron at the foot of the mount of Olives (The Hebrew word Kidron “means ‘dark waters’- emblematic of that black stream through which He was about to pass); where probably oil was made from the olives of the adjoining hill (Luke 22:39; John 18:1). Called a "place" or farm to which probably the "garden" was attached. East of Jerusalem, from the walls of which it was half a mile distant. It was the favorite resort of our Lord with His disciples (John 18:2), the shade of its trees affording shelter from the heat and the privacy so congenial to Him.

I. Grip #1 (36-39, 42, 44) – Grip of Suffering

• (cp. 2 Cor. 5:21, “For he hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…”)

• Supreme agony-inner conflict; Having arrived at the place of prayer Jesus enters a conflict in His soul that is nothing less than supreme agony. The soul of our Lord sustained a whole range of intense, excruciating, negative emotions. It is as though the Savior came to find sweet communion with God and instead found Himself dropping into the abyss, into an emotional cauldron of unimaginable suffering. It is a scene that in one sense is painful to behold for we see the rock of our salvation, the beautiful and noble prince laid prostrate under the burden of our own iniquities. “He was now bearing the iniquities which the Father laid upon him, and by his sorrow and amazement, he accommodated himself to his undertaking. The sufferings he was entering were for our sins.

• Distressed, grieved, pained, terrified

II. Grip #2 (40, 43, 45) – Grip of Standing Alone

• Directives/Imperatives were to watch/cautious/give strict attention (38,41) & pray (41) He wanted someone who would stand with him in time as this.

• But, they left Him hanging (40a, 43, 45)

Conclusion: In the beginning I gave a litany of grips or moves used in wrestling—the spladle, the guillotine, the cross-face cradle, the half-nelson & twist, the cement mixer, but there was one I failed to mention and that one is an arm lock called the crucifix armbar. It is known to keep most pinned down, death put Jesus in a crucifix armbar and pinned Him down when Jesus died. Another grip was the Iron Claw, or the clawhold, which was a finishing hold of Fritz Von Erich. The claw was a squeezing of the temples by the thumb and pinky, while the palm compressed the face. The grave decided that he would put the iron claw on Jesus and keep him. Usually the ref would declare the opponent incapacitated and call the match.The count was started, on Friday was one, Saturday morning was 2, Saturday night was 3, but early Sunday Jesus maneuvered out of the armbar of death and the iron claw of the grave.


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