Summary: This sermon teaches how the Master responded to His worst bout with pressure.
No one should ever forget the pain of Gethsemane. No one should ever have the gall to reduce the suffering of my Lord to an Easter egg hunt or a chocolate rabbit. Considering the great war that our Lord was in the midst of; how can we commit such a horrible injustice? Note, how Jesus faced His most horrible trial! Should not we do the same? He goes to a solitary place; a place of prayer. He goes to His war-room to pray. He seeks not simply seclusion but inclusion with both: His Father and His friends. He was oppressed with great grief and overwhelmed with terrible anguish. But prayer remains His most formidable option. It was a peculiar change from the fellowship of the supper to the loneliness of the garden. The mountain naturally leads to the valley. It is the rhythm of human life. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we are down. No one is exempted from the crushing pains of Gethsemane. Gethsemane in Hebrews means olive press or oil press place. Gethsemane can be almost anything that opposes us. Cancer, depression, sorrow, disappointments, etc. are Gethsemanes that we must all face. Let us remove our shoes as we enter the holy place where our Savior’s sweat poured like great drops of blood. The physician calls this rare occurrence, hematohidrosis. It is a condition where a person excretes blood and sweat concurrently. It usually occurs when a person is under great stress or possibly facing his own demise. It’s amazing what our Lord Jesus did for us. When life was at its worst: it should be noted that His answer was PRAYER! Here are several things we can learn from the Master’s War-Room:
I. He Went to a Familiar Place to Pray. (vs 36) (Jhn. 18:2)
A. Place that relaxed Him.
B. Place that reminded Him.
C. Place that revived Him.
II. Note the structure of the prayer:
• Separation-He went a little farther
• Partnership-He took with him Peter, James and John
• Excruciation: He went from the mount of transfiguration to the garden of disfiguration.
• Prostration-falling on His face
• Condition-if you are willing
• Petition-Take this cup from me
• Persistence-He prayed the same words three times
• Submission-not my will, but Thine be done
III. He Took His Friends for Comfort. (vs 36-37)
A. He needed them to share His plight.
B. He needed them stay within His proximity.
C. He needed them to absorb some of the pressure.
IV. Friends are Helpful When we are Under Great Pressure (vs 37)
A. Peter would promise his life.
B. John would pour out his love.
C. James would be a pusher for the Lord.
V. He Shared His Thoughts of Pressure with His Friends. (vs 38)
A. Confided in His friends.
B. He broke down before their faces.
C. He needed them to watch with Him faithfully.
VI. He Confronts God Alone. (38-39)
A. They can go with Him but not for Him.
B. He must be free to fight and focus.
C. They must see that pressure drives men to their war room to pray.
VII. He Understood His Friends Weariness. (vs 43) (Lk. 22:45)
A. They did not understand.
B. Their eyes were heavy.
C. They slept because of the weight of sorrow.
VIII. He Received Strength from Heaven. (Lk. 22:43)
A. He confirmed the will of God.
B. An angel showed up.
C. Heaven strengthened Him.
In the Eden, Adam took a fall. In Gethsemane, Christ took a stand.
In Eden, man meets himself but in Gethsemane, man meets his Savior.
In Eden, the Serpent arrived but in Gethsemane, he was evicted.
The only way around suffering is straight through it.
Every suffering Gethsemane has its delivering angel.
Whenever life is hard, remember we are not the first to ask; is there another way?
There are 4 gardens in the bible: we’re in one of them. There is the Garden of Eden (garden of sin), the Garden of Gethsemane (garden of suffering), the Garden of Golgotha, (the garden of victory) and the Garden of Paradise (garden of Eternal life. Which garden are you in right now? The only one that awaits us is Paradise.
Augustine said; “God had one Son on earth without SIN, but never one without SUFFERING.”
Mother Theresa said; “A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt and must empty ourselves. Give yourselves fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His LOVE than in your weakness.”
Rev. Billy Graham said; “Suffering is part of the human condition and it comes to all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to Him in trust and confidence.”