Summary: Jesus willingly went to the cross to be our atonement for sin
SBC Philippi, 3/14/04 am
Jesus in the Garden
Primary Purpose: Jesus willingly went to the cross to be our atonement for sin.
Many people have died for various causes without much of a sense of regret or pain. Palestinian terrorist sometimes strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up in order to try and kill Jews. The Japanese had pilots that would aim their planes at our battleships in order to try and kill U.S. soliders and to destroy ships. Even the Bible, gives the brave account of Stephen and his death by stoning. Then we see Jesus here, just hours away from the cross now and He is in agony. To understand why he is in agony we need to think about what he would do for us and what was in this cup that Jesus did not want to drink. (Read Scripture)
My grandmother had a painting of Jesus in the garden. In it he is kneeling by a large rock. His regal looking robes are flowing around his body as he kneels with hands calmly folded. His face is the picture of calm. This is a picture of what I wish had happened, but it isn’t biblical. Jesus tells his disciples that he is at the point of death. He is overwhelmed he said with grief. To get a fuller picture of what he is grieving over we should look at Isaiah 53:2-5,10-11.
In “And the Angels Were Silent” by Max Lucado, Max says about Jesus in the Garden: “The final encounter of the battle has begun. As Jesus looks at the city of Jerusalem, He sees what the disciples can’t. . . .He sees the evil one preparing for the final encounter. . .Hell is breaking loose. . . .History records it as a battle of the Jews against Jesus. It wasn’t. . . .It was a battle of God against Satan. And Jesus knew it. He knew that before the war was over, he would be taken captive. He knew that before victory would come defeat. He knew that before the throne would come the cup. He knew that before the light of Sunday would come the blackness of Friday. . .and He was afraid.”
Jesus cries out to God the Father and asks that if it is possible for this cup to be taken away v.36. He doesn’t desire the seperation that the cross will cause between him and His Father. He doesn’t desire to be the one who has to bear the sins of the world. He doesn’t desire to be wounded or crushed. But, the whole point of this is that there is no other way. If there was, God the Father would surely of allowed Jesus to avoid this hour. You might say a way for what, the answer is: a way to pay the penalty for sin.
We need to clearly understand that Jesus death was a atoning sacrifice for sin. One of the first times the word atonement is used is in Numbers 5:8, it is the word kaphar. It means to cover over or to forgive. We see in the law of the covenant the atonement cover was between the cheribum and the law. God presence looks down not upon the law, but the mercy seat or the cover of atonement.
As Isaiah 53 suggests to be the atonement for sin means to have that sin impressed upon you. In the Old Testament times, when a person committed a sin, the person would bring an animal to the priest and then lay their hands upon it’s head and confess their sin. Then the animal would be sacrificed for that person. The blood would be drained and the animal sacrificed. The animal took the penalty for that persons sin and blood was shed. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” This is because death is the natural consequence and penalty for sin.
By the atoning death by bulls and goats was only a shadow of what was to come. Heb 10:3 tells us that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. What was impossible for the bulls and goats to do, Christ did. For Romans 8:3 says that “what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the sinful man, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us.”
Oswald Chambers once said, “We trample the blood of the Son of God if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation for the forgiveness of God and for the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the atonement which He has worked out for us. It does not matter who or what we are; there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because he died. It is not earned, but accepted. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy.” This is what Jesus did for us. This is what he sees coming. This is what he is in grief over. Terrible pain and seperation is facing the Lord of glory.