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The Cup

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The Garden was a place of both suffering and strength

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INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
(Begin in prayer)
One of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do was stand up in front of my church and share with them that my engagement had been broken off. This was long long ago, long before I even met my wife Cassandra.
The break up was over the phone. My fiancee was in the UK. In another couple months time we were meant to be married there. But three months previously I had been denied a visa to return to England.
There have been precious few times in my life that I have felt such dread leading up to something. Standing before them and sharing the news while I was still very much broken inside is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And I probably would not have been able to do it at all without the time spent in prayer during the week before. It wasn’t the pretty sounding prayer that we normally hear from each other. It was raw. It was full of pain. And it was desperate.
And this doesn’t even come close to what Jesus must have felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane knowing that his ‘hour’ of ultimate suffering was at last arriving. Jesus’ ordeal was unique to Him alone. We merely are capable of experiencing a part of what He did.

Let’s Pray

To remind us of how we got here,

1. Following the last supper, Jesus and His disciples went to Gethsemane...

Mark 14:32 ESV
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

a. A garden outside the city, across the Kidron brook and on the Mount of Olives. Likely to have been about a 30 minute walk.

b. It’s name meaning “olive press”, and seems to have been a remote walled garden

c. A place where Jesus often went with His disciples

John 18:1–2 ESV
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.

2. Note the contrast between the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane...

a. In Eden, the first man (Adam) fell by yielding to temptation and disobeyed God

b. In Gethsemane, the second man (cf. ) conquered by yielding to the will of God

1 Corinthians 15:47 ESV
The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

Before we continue I want to show you a short video that will help orient us

[Yes, “The Garden Of Gethsemane” was a place of victory for Jesus (and consequently for us as well). But the victory did not come easy, as we consider first that...]

I. THE GARDEN WAS A PLACE OF SUFFERING

A. WHERE JESUS EXPERIENCED GREAT DISTRESS...

2. Before He began praying, He was “troubled and deeply distressed” -

2. Before He began praying, He was “troubled and deeply distressed” - 3. Later, Luke records that He was “in agony”, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground - 5. He was likely troubled for He knew that His hour had come - cf. 6. He knew what was imminent, for He had told His disciples earlier -
Mark 14:32–33 ESV
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
Mark 14:33 ESV
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
2. Before He began praying, He was “troubled and deeply distressed” - 3. Later, Luke records that He was “in agony”, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground - 5. He was likely troubled for He knew that His hour had come - cf. 6. He knew what was imminent, for He had told His disciples earlier -

Mark 14:33 ESV
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.

3. Later, Luke records that He was “in agony”, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground -

Luke 22:44 ESV
And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

4. He had many reasons to be troubled for He knew that His hour had come - cf.

John 12:27 ESV
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

5. He knew what was imminent, for He had told His disciples earlier -

Mark 10:32–34 ESV
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
Our salvation came at such a great cost.

B. WHERE JESUS ENDURED INTENSE SORROW...

Mark 14:34 ESV
And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”

1. He described Himself as “exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” -

2. The writer of Hebrews refers to His “vehement cries and tears” - 3. His grief and sorrow was partly due to the fact that He was taking upon Himself our own grief and sorrow! - cf.

2. The writer of Hebrews refers to His “loud cries and tears” -

Hebrews 5:7 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

3. His grief and sorrow was partly due to the fact that He was taking upon Himself our own grief and sorrow! - cf.

Isaiah 53:4–5 ESV
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah
How precious is the salvation Jesus bought for us.

C. WHERE JESUS FACED THE IMPENDING SEPARATION FROM GOD THE FATHER

1. The cup that Jesus asked to pass from Him represents the wrath of God.

Jeremiah 25:15–17 ESV
Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.” So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it:

2. The physical, emotional, and social were not small things to consider. But separation from the Father and enduring the wrath and punishment of God were perhaps the overwhelming concern which made the time in the garden such a time of agony -

3. The physical, emotional, and social were not small things to consider. But separation from the Father and enduring the wrath and punishment of God were perhaps the overwhelming concern which made the time in the garden such a time of agony -

Mark 14:36 ESV
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

2. You see there is a rule here. Just as 1 + 1 = 2, so too there is a rule that there must be an accounting for sin, a death, blood spilled. Someone had to die. Someone did die. In our place.

How incredible the sacrifice of Jesus.

D. WHERE JESUS ENCOUNTERED SOLEMN LONELINESS...

1. He wanted His closest disciples to watch with Him -

Mark 14:33 ESV
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.

a. Those who had been with Him from the beginning -

Mark 1:16–20 ESV
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

b. Those who were privy to one of His greatest miracles -

:-37-43
Mark 5:37–43 ESV
And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

c. Including the disciple “whom He loved” - ; ; ; ,,

John 13:23 ESV
One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side,
Matthew 9:1–2 ESV
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
John 19:26 ESV
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
John 20:2 ESV
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

d. Including the disciple “whom He loved” - ; ; ; ,,

John 21:7 ESV
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

2. Yet after each episode of praying, He found them sleeping - ,,

,,
Mark 14:37–41 ESV
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

a. When He desired fellowship for comfort, there was none to be found

b. The Psalmist foretold this would happen - cf.

Psalm 69:20 ESV
Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.
How valuable the salvation Jesus made possible for us.
[Alone in His distress and sorrow, our Lord found “The Garden Of Gethsemane” to be a place of great suffering for Him. Then something happened. Before He left to face the mob led by Judas to arrest Him, Jesus found that...]
Sermons From The Gospel Of Mark 189

II. THE GARDEN WAS A PLACE OF STRENGTH

A. WHEN JESUS EXPRESSED AGONIZING PRAYER...

1. The agony in His prayer is:

a. Seen by His posture: “He...fell on the ground” -

Mark 14:35 ESV
And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

b. Heard in His words: “Abba, Father…take this cup away from Me” -

Mark 14:36 ESV
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

2. It was “godly fear” Jesus expressed, and for such His prayer was heard -

Hebrews 5:7 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

a. Not that the cup (of suffering) was removed

b. But that He would be able to drink it

There is power in prayer.

B. WHEN JESUS RESIGNED HIS WILL TO THE FATHER...

1. As evidenced by His words:

a. “Not what I will, but what You will.” -

Mark 14:36 ESV
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

b. “if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” -

Matthew 26:42 ESV
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

2. When man first said “My will, not Thine be done...”

a. It opened the flood gate of sin
b. It turned man out of the Paradise of God
c. The work of Adam brought alienation from God

3. But when Jesus said “Not as I will, but as You will...”

a. Victory over sin and access to the Tree of Life became possible
b. For it prepared Jesus to go to the cross to make it possible
c. The work of Jesus brought reconciliation to God
Prayer is transforming

C. WHEN JESUS ENJOYED SPECIAL COMFORT...

1. Jesus received an answer to His prayer - cf.

Luke 22:43 ESV
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.

a. Not the answer He requested (let this cup pass from Me)

b. But strength from an angel!

2. Like the apostle Paul would pray later - cf.

2 Corinthians 12:7–10 ESV
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

. Asking the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh b. Receiving an answer different than requested, but sufficient to meet the need!

Strength can be found in prayer.

D. WHEN JESUS EVIDENCED RENEWED RESOLVE...

1. Strengthened, Jesus was ready to face the hour at hand -

Mark 14:41 ESV
And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
2. He was ready to meet His betrayer and those with him -

2. He was ready to meet His betrayer and those with him -

Mark 14:42 ESV
Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

CONCLUSION

1. So “The Garden Of Gethsemane” was a place of both suffering and strength...

a. Jesus entered the garden suffering

b. He left the garden strengthened

2. And what turned the place of suffering into a place of strength…

a. Prayer that was fervent and persistent

b. Prayer that submitted to the will of God

c. Prayer in which one was strengthened

c. Prayer that enabled Him to face the cup given Him

Heartbeat, I want to leave you with two things today:
A renewed sense of wonder at how precious our salvation is.
And an understanding that in our lives we too can see a place of suffering turned into a place of strength through prayer.
And I suppose that is one such application action point for us.
There will be times when we must enter our “Garden Of Gethsemane”: by that I mean times of distress, sorrow, loneliness. But such times can also be a time of comfort and strength, provided we spend them in prayer, willing to accept the Father’s will in our lives… - cf.

Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Intro

Stay and pray v32-33a
Sorrow v33b-36
Sleep and slumber v37-41
Two Gardens
Stay and Pray
Garden - Jesus favorite place
Jesus with the three
Jesus alone
Sorrow
Suffering and Pain
Solitude - betrayal
Separation from God
Sleep and Slumber
Natural sleep - exhaustion
Spiritual sleep - spiritual weakness
Prediction and prophetic fulfillment (He will be abandoned. Peter will be faithless)

Stay and pray

Conclusions: Two Gardens
Garden of Delight
And I close now with the prayer recorded by Paul in the book of Ephesians.
Garden of Olives
But perhaps more than this I want to leave you with a sense of amazement heartbeat. I want you to know at what great cost your salvation came. I want you to treasure it more. And I want to treasure it more.
Sin through one man, salvation through son of man

Stay & Pray

Sorrow

Ephesians 3:14–20 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
Ephesians 3:14–21 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

As you submit yourself to God you CANNOT fail.

Jesus went through enormous struggle in the garden, it was difficult to accept the Father’s plan. Through prayer He was able to accept it.
Ephesians 4:18 ESV
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Ephesians 3:14–18 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Ephesians 3:18 ESV
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Perhaps your honest answer is no. Go to the Father in prayer. When Christ faced the prospect of the most painful death penalty possible, when He faced the unimaginable by us prospect of being cut off from the Father and instead facing His judgment, Jesus went to the Father in prayer. And in prayer He was able to surrender Himself to the coming horrors.
My dear heartbeat, as long as you commit yourself and your ways to the Father you need not fear. Not because you will lead a charmed life - you will not. But because you can have an amazing assurance, an incredible peace knowing that the Lord of the universe is watching over you. And you are precious to Him. So precious that Jesus died for you.
Sleeping:
To sleep is to stop praying
To sleep is to be unable to recognize the onset of trial or to accept it as God’s will.
To sleep is to presume that the Spirit is willing without being mindful of the weakness of the flesh.
To sleep is to assume that we have arrived.
Romans 5:15–19 ESV
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Romans
Romans 5:1–19 ESV
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
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