Summary: A sermon for Good Friday.
It Is Complete
He came, looking for someone.
He came during that day's cool evening breeze.
He came as He had always come.
He came because they knew each other, and used to spend time together.
He came to the garden because that is where they always met.
That's where He was at home.
And there was no answer.
The man and the woman had hidden.
Something had happened.
Something horrible had happened, and it was made worse by the excuses and feeble stories that followed.
Love, trust and innocence ...everything that is beautiful had been trampled on.
The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, stands behind the garden where Jesus is betrayed in our Scripture reading for this afternoon.
The New Testament, is, after-all a kind of "new-Genesis".
In the beginning of John's Gospel we are told that the Word--Who is Jesus--became flesh: our flesh, Adam's flesh, new-Genesis flesh.
And with that the roles are reversed.
Instead of God walking into the garden searching for His beloved human beings...
...sinful men, violent men, men with weapons come to the garden in the dark looking for Someone.
And that Someone is the Father's Only Son.
Like all humans, they are looking for God, but they don't know that's what they are doing.
They think they are only doing their job...
And unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus doesn't hide.
He has no reason to.
The Father has given Him a cup to drink, and He's going to drink it.
And so on the night of Jesus' arrest, the new Adam steps forward to meet the old Adam.
The Word Who was and is God comes to greet the "world" which He created...
...but which rebelled against Him.
The Light of the world stands before those, who, in their darkness, have come with torches and lanterns.
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness will never extinguish it!!!
And so it goes.
There is the arrest.
There are Peter's denials.
There is the trial before Pilate, the release of Barabbas, Jesus is whipped and mocked...
"Then Pilate [hands] Jesus over to be crucified."
And we are told in John 19:25, "Jesus' mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross."
Now think back, early on in John's Gospel, when Jesus' mother Mary pointed out to Jesus that the wine had run out at a wedding party in Cana.
She didn't understand, then, what Jesus was talking about when He told her His time had not yet come, but she knew that the way to get things done was for people to do whatever Jesus said.
And again, at the foot of the Cross, she doesn't understand...
...now that His time has come at last; that this is where it was all leading; that Jesus' calling, to turn the water of human life into the rich wine of God's love is now at last being fulfilled.
In Chapter 19:28 Jesus says, "I am thirsty."
And they give Him the low-grade sour wine that the soldiers drank.
Jesus gave the best wine, so good that people were blown away by it.
And here, at His moment of agony, Jesus is offered the cheap stuff.
And think of the many times Jesus spoke about water.
There was the wedding I just mentioned.
There was the long discussion He had with the Samaritan woman at the well.
Jesus offered her "living water," and it was clear that He had an abundant supply.
Then, in John chapter 6, Jesus said that those who believe in Him will not only never be hungry, but will also never be thirsty.
And then in Chapter 7 He spoke exuberantly about the "living water" that is available for anyone who comes to Him.
People can satisfy their thirst forever by believing in Jesus.
Indeed, "rivers of living water" will spring up from within people.
All this heightens our sense of horror and awe, as we get the full impact of what John is saying, at the thought of Jesus Himself being thirsty!!!
As with the crown of thorns and the mocking purple robe, this is part of the truth of it all.
This is how Jesus must do what only Jesus can do.
He must come to the place where everyone else is, the place of thirst, shame and death.
The Gospel of John is interesting.
There is a sequence of "signs" by which Jesus reveals His glory.
The first sign was in John Chapter 2 when He changed water into wine.
The second sign was when He healed the royal official's son in John Chapter 4.
The third sign can be found in John Chapter 5 when Jesus heals the paralyzed man at the pool.