Summary: When we come to the place of spiritual maturity that we can say... "Not my will but Yours be done" victory will be a lifestyle.
We are two Sundays away from celebrating Easter, the most important day in the history of mankind, past, present and future. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation on which we base everything that we believe concerning God. Without the resurrection we have nothing to stand on as Christians.
1 Corinthians 15:13-18 (NKJV)
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.
17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile (pointless); you are still in your sins!
The resurrection is God’s greatest victory against the enemy. But before there was a resurrection there was a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. And this morning I want us to visit there for a few minutes because without Gethsemane there would have been no resurrection morning.
Mark 14:32-36 (NKJV)
32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray."
33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
34 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch."
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
36 And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
The Garden of Gethsemane was situated on the Mt. of Olives opposite the Temple. Normally it was a place of meditation and prayer, a sanctuary for Jesus. He would go here to escape the business of ministry and spend time in His Father’s presence. But on this day it became a place of agony and distress. For three and a half years Jesus ministered to the people. He healed the sick and raised the dead. He performed miracles that had never been heard of by feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes and by walking on the stormy waters of Galilee. He served the people from sun up to sun down because He loved them.
He gave out of Himself to the point of exhaustion because He loved people. He loved the ones that no one else would love. He helped those that no one else would help. At the beginning of His ministry He stood up in the synagogue of Nazareth and said…
Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
And that’s how He lived every day of His life, by standing up and ministering to those who were in need. There was never a moment of hesitation on His part. When a need was presented He met the need. He was there for the people. He had surrounded Himself with twelve men, His disciples. They had been with Him since the beginning of His ministry. He trained them to minister and helped them to understand who God is, who He was and what the Kingdom of God was all about. They were His closest friends. But now one of them had betrayed Him. This was it. The moment was here.
The very reason that He had left the beauties of Heaven and entered the darkness of earth was upon Him. He was the Gift of God, salvation, given to humanity and that Gift was about to be opened. But this was no easy task because in order for Him to bring salvation to the world He had to first do what He had never done before… He had to take on himself every single sin that had ever been committed and that would ever be committed. That was His reason for coming here. The sacrificial system that Israel had in place was just a substitute that God had given them until the Final Sacrifice could be given, and that Final Sacrifice was none other that Jesus the Christ.
Hebrews 10:4-7 (NKJV)
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.