Summary: Events in the Bible that took place on a mountain
Mountain Moving Faith
“Mount of Olives”
Tonight we are going to see that Jesus faced a temptation and that temptation was to avoid the cross. I believe the real battle was fought here in the Garden. Jesus that night could have said, “No Father, No Cross—these sinful creatures you call humans are not worth suffering for.” But instead He endured the cross despising its shame, so we could be set free from sin. Let’s read beginning in Luke 22:39-53. Luke says that some of the disciples followed but in the books of Matthew and Mark they tell us that the disciples that Jesus took with Him were Peter, James, and Andrew and He told them to watch and pray, and then He went a little further and threw Himself down on the ground and began to pray.
In His prayer, Jesus spoke of a cup before Him. He asked the Father to take it away from Him, if He was willing. Matthew and Mark tell us Jesus prayed this same prayer three times: “Father, take this cup away from me, but not my will, but yours be done.” There was something about this cup that caused Jesus to dread it. Verse 44 says Jesus was “in anguish.” There was something Jesus saw in this cup that caused His nerves to be as tight as piano wire and His blood to freeze. And the question is what was it about this cup that caused Jesus such agony? Jesus spoke of this cup earlier when He asked His disciples, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38) He was speaking of the baptism of suffering and the cup of God’s judgment.
In Psalms 75:8 it makes a reference to the cup of judgment. “It is god who judges: In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.” Although Jesus was pure and sinless, he chose to drink this cup of judgment for us. In this lesson I want to suggest three things Jesus saw in this cup of judgment. When He looked at these three elements, He shuddered with disgust.
1. EMOTIONAL PAIN: BEING LEFT ALONE.
Jesus looked into the cup and saw he was going to be forsaken by all His friends. John the Baptist was a loner who lived in the desert, but Jesus was a people person. He enjoyed people and people enjoyed Him. When the Pharisees were looking for reasons to condemn Him they said, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” He was labeled a “glutton and a wine bibber” and the Bible says the common people heard Him gladly. He liked people.
Do you remember when Jesus was busy and some parents wanted to bring their children to Jesus? The disciples told the parents Jesus was to busy. But Jesus rebuked His disciples and welcomed those children into His arms where He lovingly hugged them and blessed them. To God one of the most important words in the human language is relationship. Isn’t it wonderful to know the God of Creation wants to have a relationship with you? What a friend we have in Jesus!
However, the closer Jesus got to the cross, the more rejection He experienced. Early in His ministry multitudes of people followed Jesus. But many of them were just after a free meal or a quick healing. When Jesus started talking about denying self, and carrying a cross, the crowds left Him. Then there were 12. One left, then there were 11; then Jesus took three with Him to pray, and soon all of the disciples left Him. Not only did people forsake Him, but many despised Him. The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus 750 years earlier: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah53:3)
Have you ever been rejected or forsaken? It’s a terrible experience. But imagine how the Creator must have felt to be forsaken and rejected by His very own Creation. One of the first things God said about mankind was “it is not good for man to be alone.” Fish swim in schools, sheep graze in flocks, and geese fly in gaggles. People hang out in crowds—we need to be with other people.
That night Jesus saw loneliness in that cup. He would be arrested, tried, tortured, and crucified all alone. After hanging on the cross He would look into heaven and say, “My God, my God why have YOU forsaken me?” When Jesus saw the isolation and loneliness in the cup, He cried, “Father, take this cup from me! But not my will but yours be done.”