G E T H S E M A N E. Luke 22:39-53 (NKJV)

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1 Message for THE LORD'S DAY MORNING, March 13, 2016 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister Pre-Easter Message TOPIC: Easter, Special Day Sermon G E T H S E M A N E Luke 22:39-53 (NKJV) Lord willing, two Lord's Days from now we will be celebrating the annual holiday or holy day we have come to know as Easter. For those of us who are Christians this is that special day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. As we prepare our hearts for this wonderful celebration, I would like for us to go back to the night before Jesus was crucified to a place called GETHSEMANE. While all four of the gospels record what took place in Gethsemane that night, I would like for us to read Luke's account. So if you will, please turn with me in your Bibles to the twenty second chapter of Luke's Gospel. And for now, let's read verses Luke 22:39-46 (NKJV) 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, Pray that you may not enter into temptation. 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.

2 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation. P R A Y E R ************************************************************ I N T R O D U C T I O N When we think of the suffering of Christ, we think of the merciless scourging He received from the Roman soldiers and those agonizing hours on the cross when He died for the sins of the world. But the suffering of Christ began the night before the crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane. It had been a very long evening. Jesus and His disciples had observed the Passover Supper in the large Upper Room of a home in Jerusalem. Towards the end of the supper that night, Jesus dropped a bombshell on His disciples when He revealed that one of them would betray Him. After exposing Judas Iscariot as His betrayer, Judas stormed out of the Upper Room to go make the arrangements with the Chief Priests and Elders to have Jesus arrested later that night.

3 After Judas left, Jesus then instituted the Lord's Supper, the meal of remembrance that we still observe each and every Lord's Day, and will continue to do so until Christ returns. After singing a hymn, Jesus and His eleven remaining apostles left the Upper Room and made their way through the streets of Jerusalem. Luke tells us in verse 30, Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When Luke says, Coming out he is likely referring to coming out of The Golden Gate on the northeast side of the wall around Jerusalem. When they came out of the city, they had to travel approximately two miles down the steep ravine of the Kidron Valley. To their right they would have seen thousands and thousands of graves of Jewish people who have been buried in the Kidron Valley. When Jesus and His disciples reached the bottom of the valley they crossed over The Brook Kidron or Kidron Creek...and just a ways further on the other side of that creek they would have reached The Garden of Gethsemane, which was located at the base of the Mount of Olives. I tell you this so you will understand that this journey to Gethsemane wasn't a casual, leisurely stroll. It was a very physically demanding walk, made even more difficult by the late hour of the day.

4 Now, I want you to notice what Luke says in the first part of verse 40, When He came to the place... It would be very easy to read that statement and totally miss the significance of it. When Luke says, When He came to the place he is telling us Jesus took His disciples right to the same place He always took them. He wasn't hiding from from Judas Iscariot. He took them right to very place where He knew Judas would find Him. Judas knew the place well because he had been there many times before with Jesus. There are three things that really stand out in our text that I would like to focus on for the remainder of the message. First of all, I would have you to notice... I. Gethsemane Was The Place of STRUGGLE (vs ) 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, Pray that you may not enter into temptation. 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.

5 1. Prior to that night, Jesus and His disciples had always gone to Gethsemane to find peace and quiet. It was a place where they had escaped from the hustle and bustle of the crowds on many occasions. And Gethsemane had been a safe place for them to sleep on many nights. 2. But on the night prior to His crucifixion, Gethsemane was a battlefield. This would be the place where Satan would launch an all out attack against Christ in a last ditch effort to stop Him from going to the cross. 3. You see, Satan never wanted Jesus to go to the cross. He knew God's plan to save the world involved Jesus dying on a cross. He knew that if Jesus died on the cross it meant that he and all his demons were doomed for all eternity. 4. Knowing that Satan was lurking in the Garden that night, Jesus told His disciples, Pray that you may not enter into temptation. In other words, Men, pray that you won't be over-taken or over-powered by temptation tonight. 5. And so as they arrive at the place, Jesus leaves eight of His disciples at the entrance to the Garden. That is their place of temptation. And He takes Peter, James and John farther into the Garden and leaves them at a certain spot. That is their place of temptation.

6 6. And then Jesus goes on a stone's throw away from Peter, James and John, and that is His place of temptation. Everybody is going to be tempted... Everybody needs to pray! 7. Luke says Jesus knelt down and prayed, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me.; never-the-less, not My will, but Yours', be done. 8. Some interpret this to mean Jesus was scared of the physical suffering He was about to go through; that He was asking God not to let Him suffer the pain of the nails and the agony of the cross. That is NOT at all what Jesus is praying here. 9. To understand what Jesus is praying we need to understand what He means by this cup. The cup refers to the cup of sin. Remember, Jesus is PERFECT... He is HOLY...He He is SINLESS...He is SPOTLESS. By going to the cross, Jesus was going to have to let go of His righteousness and His holiness to become something He had never been before. II Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

7 10. While Satan tempts you and me to cling to sin, he was tempting Jesus to cling to His holiness. He was tempting Jesus to abort the mission... to to cancel His appointment with the cross, knowing that if Jesus refused the cup...refused to become sin it would thwart God's plan to save the world. 11. Listen carefully! JESUS was struggling with whether to save you and me or to save Himself. But not only was Gethsemane A PLACE OF STRUGGLE... II. Gethsemane Was The Place of SUFFERING (vs ) 1. You and I have never struggled with temptation to the degree Christ struggled with it that night in Gethsemane. In Matthew and Mark's gospels Jesus said, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. This temptation was so powerful, so intense it nearly killed Jesus.

8 2. Luke describes it this way in verses 43 and Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 3. When Luke says, And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly our English language doesn't give us the full picture of what was going on. The idea here in the original Greek is that at this point Jesus was lying flat on the ground sobbing and crying loudly. Imagine someone lying on the floor of your living sobbing and crying uncontrollably because they have just received the most devastating news they have ever heard. That is the idea here when Luke says, And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. This is The Man of Sorrows at His most sorrowful moment. 4. What was it that caused Him such intense grief and sorrow? It wasn't one, but many things: The Jewish nation had rejected Him......Judas was about to betray Him...Peter was about to deny Him...and the rest of the apostles were about to abandon Him. And the list just goes on and on.

9 5. Notice in verse 43 Jesus was in such agony, His Father could hardly bear to watch His Son suffer like this, so He sent an angel to minister to Jesus. No doubt the angel reassured Jesus of His Father's love and emboldened His confidence to face the cross and complete His mission of redemption. 6. In verse 44 Luke brings out a detail about Christ's suffering in Gethsemane that is not mentioned by the other three gospel writers: v.44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 7. Luke, being a doctor, would take special notice of this medical phenomenon. It is a condition called hematadrosis (hee-mattah-drosis) or thrombo heimatos (thrombo high-mah tose). This rare phenomenon occurs when a person is under such physical and emotional stress it causes the capillaries to burst mingling blood with sweat and pouring through the pores of the skin. 8. As Jesus agonized in prayer that night in the Garden He suffered intense physical, emotional, and spiritual duress.

10 Gethsemane Was The Place of STRUGGLE. Gethsemane Was The Place of SUFFERING. And thirdly... III. Gethsemane Was The Place of SURRENDER (vs ) 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation. 47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, Lord, shall we strike with the sword? 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, Permit even this. And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

11 1. When Jesus rose up from His prayer, He was no longer in agony. He now has that calm peace and confidence of a Son who has accepted His Father's will and is now prepared to move forward to Calvary. 2. Upon returning to His disciples, Jesus finds them asleep. And did you catch Luke's explanation of why they were asleep? It wasn't because it had been a long, hard day or because they had just eaten a big Passover meal. Luke says in verse 45, Jesus found them sleeping from SORROW. They knew Peter was going to deny Jesus. They knew they were all going to forsake Him. They knew Jesus was going to be arrested and go to the cross and die. In other words, their whole world was collapsing around them and they were so over-whelmed with sorrow they went to sleep to anesthetize them from the pain. 3. Jesus asked them, Why do you sleep? In other words, How can you sleep at a time like this? And just as He is warning them one last time to pray, lest they be over- taken by temptation they can hear the sound of Judas the betrayer and his armed mob coming through the olive trees with their swords and torches.

12 4. According to Matthew and Mark's gospels, Judas had told the arresting party that once they arrived at the place he would identify Jesus for them by placing a kiss on Jesus' cheek. 5. Why a kiss? In the eastern culture, a kiss on the cheek was the common greeting of two friends. Perhaps Judas was trying to soothe his own conscience by treating Jesus as his friend. But Jesus quickly shattered that notion when He said, Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? 6. All the sudden there is a flurry of activity. In a feeble attempt to rescue Jesus, Peter pulled out a sword and started swinging it like a wild man, cutting off the ear of Malchus the high priest. If Jesus hadn't intervened and told Peter to put up his sword, the soldiers likely would have killed Peter and the rest of the apostles, right there on the spot. 7. And then in an act of compassion, Jesus reached down and picked up Malchus ear and miraculously reattached it as if the injury had never occurred. 8. The point is this: Jesus didn't need for His disciples to rescue Him that night. The Garden of Gethsemane was a place of surrender...not to the soldiers...but to His Heavenly Father's will.

13 C O N C L U S I O N Jesus taught us a very valuable lesson that night in Gethsemane and that is this: Prayer is the key to resisting temptation. Remember, Jesus told His disciples when they arrived at the Garden that night, Pray that you may not enter into temptation. You and I are sinners. Yes, we have been forgiven. Yes, we have been made a new creation through Christ. But we still live in these fleshly bodies which are prone to sin and temptation. Satan wants us to hold on to sin. Satan's goal is to get us to do things and say things that will dishonor the Name of Jesus, and tarnish the name of the Church, and destroy our Christian witness. That is why we must pray each and every day, several times a day, not my will, but Yours' be done! A Garden In The Night A garden in the night, "My Father, let it pass, A soul in tortured prayer; This darkness now begun. Engulfed in sorrow all alone, But here I am, Your sacrifice, Our Savior struggles there. So let Your will be done." He knows His hour has come To bear the price of love. He reaches out, His spirit drowned In agony and blood. Lord, help us watch and pray, Your burden gladly bear That we may live and die like You, Our lives a holy prayer. Words by Ken Bible 2005 by LNWhymns.com

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