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76 Luke 22.39-46

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Between Two Gardens

Luke 22:39-46

v    Scripture, at its basic level, gives us the grand narrative of redemption

Ø     In the beginning we are introduced to the narrative in the Garden of Eden

§        Or more appropriately…

·        The Garden of Failure

¨     Where Adam failed the temptation

¨     Where sin began

Ø     At the end of time, the narrative leaves us in Heaven on earth

§        The Garden city of the New Jerusalem

·        Where the redeemed shall reign

·        Where final victory is won

v    But between these two Gardens…

Ø     Between the Garden of Failure and the Garden of Victory…

§        Is the Garden of Temptation

·        The Garden of Gethsemane

¨     And that is where we find Jesus in our text today…

 

READ v. 39-46

v    In The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, J.D. Pentecost writes…

Ø     What is temptation? Seduction to evil, solicitation to wrong.  It stands distinguished from trial in that trials test, (they) seek to discover the man's moral qualities or character;

§        But temptation persuades to evil, deludes, that it may ruin.

Ø     The one means to undeceive,

§        The other to deceive.

Ø     The one aims at the man's good, making him conscious of his true moral self;

§        But the other at his evil, leading him more or less unconsciously into sin

v    God tries

Ø     But Satan tempts

v    And the temptation that Satan was putting before Jesus in Gethsemane was…

Ø     Don’t go to the cross

§        You see…     

·        It is in this Garden that the work of Salvation was begun

¨     It was accomplished on the cross in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection

Ø     But in the Garden of Gethsemane…

§        Jesus walks voluntarily into the valley of the shadow of death…

·        And struggles with the temptation NOT to go to the cross

 

The Temptation

v    And it was a temptation!

Ø      That becomes very clear in what Jesus’ prayer is

§        V. 42 ~ Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

·        Matthew puts it ~ “If it be possible…”

¨     Jesus is saying…

Ø     If there is another way to expiate the sin of the world

Ø     If there is another way that the wrath of God might be satisfied

Ø     If there is another way to remove the sin from the world

Ø     If there is another way to right all the wrong that has been done in the world….

§        Please, allow me to go down that path!

v    In Gethsemane…

Ø     Jesus was tempted in his full humanity to not go to the cross

§         And Satan was right there

v    It is interesting in Luke 4:13 after Jesus had overcome temptation 3 times in the desert Scripture tells us…

Ø     When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time

§        This was the opportune time!

·        Illustration: I really like how “The Passion of the Christ” did this scene

¨     With Satan right there in Gethsemane

Ø     Whispering in his ear

Ø     Urging Jesus to turn back

Ø     Tempting him

§        We are not told what the temptation was in Gethsemane

·        But it was probably something similar to the second temptation in the wilderness

Ø     You see…

§        The Devil is not very creative in his temptations

·        Q: Have you noticed that in your own life?

¨     It is the same temptations over and over again

Ø     A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge:

§        1. Materialism

§        2. Pride

§        3. Self-centeredness

§        4. Laziness

§        5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness

§        6. (Tie) Sexual lust

§        7. Envy

§        8. Greed

§        9. Lying

·        That pretty much covers it

¨     Oh, there are variations on the same theme

Ø     But Satan is not creative

§        He uses the same temptation in our life again and again

·        Like drip torture

v    And that, I believe, is what Satan does here in Gethsemane

Ø     In the wilderness, Remember Satan’s second temptation?...

§        First was food

§        Third was power

§        But 2nd was Sloth

·        Lk 4:5-7

¨     The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

§        The temptation was…

·        Take the way of the Crown without the Cross

¨     Take the easy way

Ø     This is what Adam took in the first Garden

§        “Eat and you will be like with God”

·        The serpent was saying…

¨     “Have the crown without the cross”

 

Ø     And he was repeating this same temptation to Jesus

§        Don’t go to the cross…

§        There is an easier way…

§        There must be a way without the pain, suffering and torment

·        I wonder if Satan wasn’t saying once again…

¨     “Worship me and I will give you the kingdoms on earth”

Ø     And it was a real struggle not to accept this temptation

v    And we see this struggle in this passage…

Ø     V. 44 ~ Says that Jesus was in “anguish

§        a very unique word

·        GK = ἀγωνίᾳ (agonia) used only here in the whole NT!

¨     Definition: A state of great mental and emotional grief and anxiety—‘anguish, intense sorrow

Ø     The word contains the idea of wrestling

Ø     Q: Has anyone here ever wrestled?

§        Wrestling, it is the most tired I have ever been

·        I have biked 100 miles in a day

·        I have completed a team triathlon

·        I have even done fun and games with the KBC kids!

¨     But I have never been more tired than when I wrestled in Junior High school

Ø     Whole body is spent, shaking, in pain

§        That is what this temptation was like

§        His mental struggle actually became physical

 

Ø     V. 44 continues and says

§        He prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground

¨     Hematidrosis

·        Why such an intense struggle?

·        Why was Jesus so tempted?

·        What made this temptation so intense?

v    I guess it could have simply been the thought of dying

Ø     Dying is a scary thing

§        Even for Christians!

·        Not about what is beyond death…

¨     But the physical aspect of it

v    And perhaps Jesus was struggling with the physical aspect of his death

Ø     First of all, as one commentator stated…

§        No one wants to die at 33!

Ø     Secondly…

§        The type of death Jesus was facing was particularly horrendous

·        Describe Crucifixion in general

Ø     But many others have faced death in a much calmer manner

§        Peter crucified upside down

§        Brothers and sisters in the coliseum

·        Being ripped to shreds by lions were praising God

v    I don’t think it was the fear of dying that made him sweat blood

v    What was it about this death that tempted Jesus so deeply to pray…

Ø     If it be possible, may this cup pass from me!

§        I think it was a combination of unfathomable terrors that brought Jesus to his knees in Gethsemane

First, the terror of…

v    The transfer of the sin of the world onto Jesus

Ø     1 Cor 5:21

§        God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God

·        Do you hear what this verse tells us!

¨     It is amazing and terrifying at the same time

Ø     Jesus, on the cross, took on the accumulated sin of the world

§        It was reckoned to his account

·        This is what is called Justification

A man in England took his Rolls-Royce to Europe for a holiday. While he was driving, something happened to the motor of his car. He called the Rolls-Royce people back in England and told them his car was undrivable. The Rolls-Royce people flew a mechanic over and he repaired the car on the spot and flew back to England.

As you can imagine, the fellow was wondering, "How much is this going to cost me?" So when he got back to England, he called and asked how much he owed them. He received a letter from the office that read: "Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever going wrong with a Rolls-Royce."

Ø     You see…

§        When you place your trust in Christ

·        All your sin is placed in Jesus’ ledger

¨     Your sin is clean forever…FOREVER

Ø     That is justification

Ø     Why would Jesus accept this terror…

§        So that when we stand before God on the judgment day

·        And we begin to give explanations for our sinful lives

¨     God will answer…

Ø     “There is no record anywhere in my files of any sin on your behalf”

§        Isa 1:18

·        Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

v    Secondly, Jesus prayed:

Ø     If it be possible, may this cup pass from me!

Because of the terror of…

v    The abandonment by God the Father

Ø     Mk 15:34

§        My God my God why have you forsaken me?

·        Jesus is quoting Ps 22

¨     And it goes on…

Ø     My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent

Ø     You see…

§        Jesus knew that when the sin of the world was placed in his account

·        When he was as Scripture says…

¨     “Made sin for us”

Ø     God the Father was going to separate himself from him

§        M. Luther

·        “Mystery of Mystery, God deserts God”

Ø     Why would Jesus accept such a terror?

§        So that we might never be abandoned by God

§        So that there will always be two sets of footprints in the sand

§        So that when you are lying awake in the hospital at 3:12 am

·        You know you are not alone

§        So that when you are in that deep pit of depression

·        There is always a hand extended down to pull you out

§        So that Jesus could say with all confidence in Matt 28

·        “Lo, I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”

v    Lastly, Jesus prayed:

Ø     If it be possible, may this cup pass from me!

Because of the terror of…

v    The unadulterated wrath of God

Ø     Rom 3:25

§        God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood

·        Jesus was terrified being a propitiation for our sin

¨     Propitiation is the act of atoning for something

¨     Of paying the penalty for something

¨     Of accepting the punishment for something

Ø     In Jesus’ case it was accepting the wrath of God for all sin committed

§        In the past, in the present and in the future

v    You see…

Ø     When the veil to the holy of holies was ripped from top to bottom

§        God’s wrath for all sin was unleashed

·        Not on humanity..

¨     But on one man who took on the sins of the world

Ø     Why would Jesus accept this terror?

§        So that we might not experience the wrath of God

·        1 Thes 5:9

¨      For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

Ø     Jesus took the full wrath of God so that we might not experience it

 

v    The famous hymn writer and sinner John Newton wrote about this…

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp'd my wild career:
I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix'd His languid eyes on me.
As near His Cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seem'd to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:
My conscience felt and own'd the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help'd to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did!
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain!
A second look He gave, which said,
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may'st live."

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now if fill'd,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill'd!

 


Notes:

v    Luke’s shortened version

Ø     Matthew -3 times Jesus came back

Ø     We know that he took with him Peter, James and John

v    Disciples’ succumb

Ø     Thomas Watson

§        Who would have thought to have found adultery in David, drunkenness in Noah and cursing in Job?  If God leaves man to himself, how suddenly may sin break forth in the holiest of man on earth. A wandering heart needs a watchful eye.

v    That is the truth of Scripture

Ø     And we have a clear picture of this in our text today

§        The story of Jesus’ temptation in the garden of Gethsemane

¨     Hab 1:13

Ø     Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong

·        Eph 2:3-10

¨     All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

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