Real Reason Why Christians Love Jesus Christ!
I. Introduction - Isaiah 53:6
Who are the sheep? WE are!
B. What happened to the sheep? Gone astray, going their own way!
C. But what has the Lord done for those sheep? Taken their iniquity and applied it to Someone else.
D. How much of our iniquity was transferred? The iniquity of us all!
E. Doesnít that strike you strange? Who deserves to be punished for our iniquity? WE DO! But God does something very special for us - He interposes His sinless Son in our place on the cross. Just before the cross, just before the cruel mockings, just before the cross-examinations of Pilate and Herod, just before the cursings of Peter, Jesus takes a diversion into a garden - the garden of Gethsemane!
F. Just outside of Jerusalem lay a beatutiful garden called Gethsemane. Jesus loved to go their and walk through it and relax. Well, this final trip through Gethsemane was not for rest and relaxation, but for US - to show us some things, and to convince us that we need Him!
II. Message - The Glory of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)
A. His Course (Matt 26:36) - Heís Heading Straight to the Cross
1. He has been headed for the cross from His birth - JESUS!
2. It is Tuesday evening. The Lord Jesus has just finished going through the Last Supper and explaining to the disciples the He is the final Lamb of God, and is about to take away the sin of the world by a brutal and horrendous death on the cross
a. With His body being broken under the burden of our sin
b. His blood being poured out, life for life - His life for ours!
3. From that upper room, Jesus leads His disciples out to a garden. Called the Garden of Gethsemane - full of olive trees surrounding a hill called the Mount of Olives. It is from this mount, that Christ continues His course (path) on to another hill, called Mount Calvary, where He will soon be crucified!
B. His Companions (Matt 26:36-38) - They were kept close to Him
1. Down to only eleven - Christ used to have literally tens of thousands following Him around, just yearning to hear Him speak, and teach, and touch!
a. One has gone and bargained with the religious leaders for money in exchange for giving them a reason to capture Jesus
b. Another one (Thomas the doubter) has decided that they all are going to die with Jesus anyway (Cf John 11:16)- pessimist
c. The rest are in a daze after all that transpired during that Last Supper. Things are not turning out like they imagined.
2. But Jesus treasures these eleven friends (Cf John 15:15) here
3. He is including them in His darkest hours. Not many people would seek to include us in their times of sorrow and trouble. Would want to be alone. Most want people around only when the sun is shining bright on their life! But Christ sought to teach His disciples EVERYTHING about both life and DEATH!
a. His disciples are at different stages of maturity. Separates the eleven, leaving 8 at the perimeter, still in sight, but not in hearing range.
b. He takes the remaining three (Peter, James and John) on further with Him.
4. He challenges the disciples
a. The eight were to just stay right where Christ leaves them. They needed to learn to simply obey, and trust that the Lord knew what He was doing. These disciples were not able to handle what Peter, James and John were about to experience.
b. The remaining three were to go on with Jesus, and to watch with Him, and pray. They learn that the Jesus they knew to always be able to handle any situation, now spoke of such great sorrow and agony. Something was terribly wrong!
c. Truly if ever there was a time to pray, now was the time.
1) A time of trouble ahead - Jesus had warned them over and over that this time of suffering would come
2) A time of temptation - the prince of darkness has focused all his energy on this moment
3) A time of uncertainty - Things will not make sense from here on out, but Jesus has told them everything in advance, and told them how to handle it - they would have to ďfly by instrumentsĒ from now on! By faith - not sight!
d. This is a spiritual battle ahead, and ONLY the Spirit can get you through this - your flesh, own strength will fail!
C. His Conflict (Matt 26:37-44; Cf Luke 22:42-44) - was with Sin
1. Dealing with Christís HUMANITY here. This perfect man, who had never sinned, was about to BECOME sin (2 Cor 5:21) - a transformation - from SINLESS to SIN itself!
2. His conflict was with SIN! Death was not His enemy - we were! No Roman soldier could kill Jesus (John 10:17,18) - it was our sins that caused Him to lay his life down for us!
3. The conflict was over the cup of the wrath of God (Ps 75:8), and he didnít deserve any of that cup, but was willing to take it if that was how it must be! He demonstrates FREE-WILL! Not forced! He was not conflicting with His task.
4. He is about to suffer like no one has EVER suffered. His humanity was about to die (Luke 22:43,44)!
a. His blood began to be shed here at about midnight, Tuesday evening, and wont stop for another 17 hours!
b. As one man, He was about to suffer every manís (ours) punishment for their sins, and He felt it! Not theoretical - real
D. His Confidence (Matt 26:39,41,42,44) - Was In Godís Will
1. To go on a little further. You can always count on the Lord going further than anyone else could ever do for you!
2. To go to prayer - He was not a fatalist. He believed in being totally honest with God and to tell Him how you really feel!
a. He doesnít just pray once - but three times!
b. He doesnít waste time going to His mother, or to a saint - He goes to God the Father!
c. He doesnít waste time with beads, or prayer books - he prays straight from the heart! If WE could learn to really pray!
3. To get strength from God, not from drugs (steroids), psychiatrists, close friends, own abilities, or even vitamins
4. To submit to Godís will - no matter what the cost (2 Cor 5:19)
5. To face the future, and not run from it! Or as they say in the movies, ďTo face His destiny!Ē HEAD ON!
E. His Choice (Matt 26:45,46) - To Go On - To Stay On Course! Faithfulness of our Saviour! Thank God He stayed on course!
1. In spite of the failure of His friends and family.
a. They were overcome by exhaustion, sorrow, and the powers of Satan. Imagine how tired Jesus was, and how worn he would be over the next 17 hours until 6pm Wednesday!
b. Judas at that moment was approaching the garden with a large crowd of people with sticks and clubs, ready to bind Jesus and take Him away to be crucified!
c. Peter soon would be denying that he even knew of Jesus.
d. The remaining disciples would all flee for their lives - all but John! But even he would only stand and watch and shake his head in disbelief!
2. In spite of the knowing what was ahead
a. Humiliation at the hands of sinners - not in a fair court of blind justice - but the court full of envy and pride and adultery and wickedness
b. Scourging at the hands of Roman soldiers
c. Crucifixion in the open, hanging naked before the whole world
d. And above all, bearing the punishment for every single sin of all time, and of all people, all bearing down on Him!
3. And yet saying, ďRise up! Letís go meet this crowd who want to see me.Ē He had made His choice, and nothing would stop Him!
4. Why?! All for us! He wanted to take our place, our punishment, so that we could be saved from hell! HE LOVED US!!
Thatís why I love Him! Thatís why I serve Him! Thatís why I tell others about him! Thatís why I put up with trouble in this life! Thatís why I look forward to heaven! Thatís why I have peace with God! BECAUSE JESUS DID ALL THAT FOR ME!!!
III. Conclusion - The Glory of Gethsemane was wrapped up in:
A. His Course- Heís Heading Straight to the Cross
B. His Companions. Down to only eleven, yet he treasures them, and includes them in His darkest hours! All the while challenging them to stay true no matter what! He included me important enough to give me this Book to know His heart for me, and commitment to me!
C. His Conflict. This perfect man, who had never sinned, was about to BECOME sin! The conflict was over the cup of the wrath of God, and He didnít deserve any of that cup, but was willing to take it!
D. His Confidence - To go on a little further, To go to prayer, To get strength from God, To submit to Godís will, and To face the future!
E. His Choice - To Go On, stay on course! Thank God He stayed on course!
What does all that say about you and me? That we are in deep trouble unless we come to Him and trust HIM as our sin-bearer! Are you saved? Why not trust Him today! Christian - how close are you to this Saviour of yours?
Bible Baptist Church Blarney
29 Westcourt Heights
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland