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Summary: Jesus drank the bitter cup of Gethsemane which contained the wrath of God which we deserved!

Mark 14:32-42

The Bitter Cup of Gethsemane

Also; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; Mark 14:32-42

(LK Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.) They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, (LK He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”) he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. (LK An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.) 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Mark 14:32-42

Introduction – The Boxer Rebellion & Aftermath

In 1899 four newspaper reporters from Denver, CO, set out to tear down the Great Wall of China. They almost succeeded. Literally.

The four met by chance one Saturday night, in a Denver railway depot. Al Stevens, Jack Tournay, John Lewis, Hal Wilshire. They represented the four Denver papers: the Times, the Post, the Republican, the Rocky Mountain News.

Each had been sent by his respective newspaper to dig up a story—any story—for the Sunday editions; so the reporters were in the railroad station, hoping to snag a visiting celebrity should one happen to arrive that evening by train.

None arrived that evening, by train or otherwise. The reporters started commiserating. For them, no news was bad news; all were facing empty-handed return trips to their city desks.

Al declared he was going to make up a story and hand it in. The other three laughed.

Someone suggested they all walk over to the Oxford Hotel and have a beer. They did.

Jack said he liked Al’s idea about faking a story. Why didn’t each of them fake a story and get off the hook?

John said Jack was thinking too small. Four half-baked fakes didn’t cut it. What they needed was one real whopper they could all use.

Another round of beers.

A phony domestic story would be too easy to check on, so they began discussing foreign angles that would be difficult to verify. China was distant enough, it was agreed. They would write about China.

John leaned forward, gesturing dramatically in the dim light of the barroom. Try this one on, he said: Group of American engineers, stopping over in Denver en route to China. The Chinese government is making plans to demolish the Great Wall; our engineers are bidding on the job.

Harold was skeptical. Why would the Chinese want to destroy the Great Wall of China?

John thought for a moment. They’re tearing down the ancient boundary to symbolize international good will, to welcome foreign trade! Another round of beers.

By 11:00 p.m. the four reporters had worked out the details of their preposterous story. After leaving the Oxford Bar, they would go over to the Windsor Hotel. They would sign four fictitious names to the hotel register. They would instruct the desk clerk to tell anyone why asked that four New Yorkers had arrived that evening, had been interviewed by reporters, had left early the next morning for California.

The Denver newspapers carried the story. All four of them. Front page. In fact, the Times headline that Sunday read: GREAT CHINESE WALL DOOMED! PEKING SEEKS WORLD TRADE!

Of course, the story was a phony, a ludicrous fabrication concocted by four capricious newsmen in a hotel bar.

But their story was taken seriously, was picked up and expanded by newspapers in the Eastern U.S. and then by newspapers abroad.

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