Summary: Why did Jesus have to suffer? Or we could broaden out the question and ask: why does suffering exist at all?
Purpose: To highlight the centrality of Christ’s suffering in human history.
Aim: I want the listener to fervently worship Christ because of His willingness to suffer.
INTRODUCTION: In our text we see Jesus leading His disciples away from the crowds to a place called Gethsemane which literally means "oil press," which is interesting in light of the agonizing praying that Jesus would go through there.
Jesus left eight of His disciples in one place then took just three disciples with Him --Peter, James, and John--so that they could comfort Him while He prayed in deep agony to His Father. Jesus prayed three different times stopping in between the prayers to come back to the three disciples for their encouragement. Each time, though, Jesus found them asleep.
In Christ’s first prayer He surrendered Himself to suffer as He said, "As You will" (Vs. 39) then in the last two prayers Jesus ask His Father to exercises His will by saying, "Your will be done" (Vs.42, 44).
Why did Jesus have to suffer? Or we could broaden out the question and ask: why does suffering exist at all? Before we can understand the answers to those questions we must first understand:
I. God’s Plan for Christ’s Suffering
Rev. 13:8 A. Christ’s suffering was planned before creation began
Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (NAS)
The suffering of Christ was not an afterthought in the mind of God. Before creation began God had sin in view and Christ’s suffering as a remedy to it.
This is what Peter said in Acts 2:22--24 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (NAS)
2 Tim.1:9 B. Christ’s suffering displays God’s grace
If there were no sin then God’s grace could not be magnified.
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (NAS)
God’s grace--His forgiveness and blessings all which we don’t deserve-- only comes through Christ. Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (NAS)
God’s grace is put on display because Christ suffered in order to provide forgiveness.
Heb. 2:9-10 C. Christ’s suffering brings God glory
Hebrews 2:9--10 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (NAS)
How wonderful! God is glorified by every sinner that Christ forgives. God is glorified as we partake of God’s glory.
Ephesians 1:4--6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (NAS)
Ephesians 1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. (NAS)
Ephesians 1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (NAS)
Rev.5:9-12 D. Christ’s suffering brings Him worship
Revelation 5:9--12 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." (NAS)