Summary: Sometimes we so emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God (fully divine) that we forget He is also the Son of Man (fully human). At Gethsemane, we see Jesus’ human nature struggling with the perfect will of God — for our sakes!
Jesus the Struggler
1. We all do goofy things. “Today, I took a picture of the combination to my new lock so I would always have it on my phone if I ever forgot it. I put my phone in my gym locker, locked it with the new lock, then promptly forgot the combination.”
2. Jesus had a struggle; it wasn’t about doing wrong. It was about paying the greatest price ever, to bear the sins of the world and provide redemption for all who will believe. The price tag was immense: physical & (worse) spiritual suffering.
Main Idea: Sometimes we so emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God (fully divine) that we forget He is also the Son of Man (fully human). At Gethsemane, we see Jesus’ human nature struggling with the perfect will of God — for our sakes!
I. The Theological Struggle: Jesus Wanted Us to Be FORGIVEN, But Did Not WANT to Suffer.
A. The cup is the cup of God’s WRATH. [show photo 1 Cup]
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…”
Jeremiah 25:15, “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.’”
B. If there was ANOTHER way to save mankind, the Father would have answered Jesus’ prayer!
C. God can only save us in a way that does not CONTRADICT His Nature: He is both loving and JUST.
• It is inaccurate to say God can do anything; it is more accurate to say God has all power. He cannot contradict His nature; He cannot sin or lie, for example.
D. We, too, must accept the distasteful TRUTHS taught in the Bible.
1. “Today, I was talking to an art critic at an exhibition. He told me that the artist had no talent and went on to tell me everything wrong with each painting. I'd painted them all.”
2. What this artist heard was disheartening, but perhaps true.
3. The truth about us is disheartening, which is why our mind edits memories.
4. We need to be fixed, but our mind tells us we are not broken.
5. We desperately need to be forgiven, redeemed, and begin a new life in Jesus.
II. The Spiritual Struggle: Jesus Struggled in to Keep His Human Will ALIGNED With the Father’s.
A. The Way Jesus Struggled Was in PRAYER. [show photo 2 prayer]
B. The Bible talks about Jesus being TEMPTED in all points, yet without sin.
1. He called the Father Abba, something Jews did not do
2. Peter had been used of the Evil One to tempt Him to avoid the cross earlier, in Matthew 16:21-23: From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
C. It is no SIN to be tempted, but it is a sin to carelessly place ourselves in a sinful environment.
III. The Psychological Struggle: Jesus Felt the STRESS and Anticipated the Gravity of What His Coming Torturous Death.
A. It is no sin to feel STRESSED, depressed, or weighed down with grief.
B. Jesus was so stressed that He was sweating drops of BLOOD (Luke 22:44).
C. This struggle implies many TRUTHS
1. We do not have to FEEL like doing God’s will to do it
2. Love is about another’s BEST INTEREST
3. It is no sin to feel emotionally OVERWHELMED
4. We are to embrace the full SPECTRUM of emotions
IV. The Relational Struggle: Jesus Wanted the SUPPORT of His Friends’ Presence, But They Failed Him.
A. The Father sent an ANGEL to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).
B. He needed to send an angel because His friends did not STRENGTHEN Him.
[show photo 3 Sleeping Disciples]
1. Normal to stay up all Passover night to talk of God’s redemption
2. Every other Passover, these disciples were awake
3. Now that Jesus’ needs them, they fall asleep — 3 times!
4. The spirit (attitude) was willing, but the flesh (inclination) is weak
C. Others fail us and we fail OTHERS; but the Lord is there!