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Real Agony

On the Way to the Cross  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Boudreaux and Thibodeaux talking about which one is closer, New Orleans or the Moon.
Many times in our lives, we confuse that which is apparent with that which is true.

Observation #1 - The Humanity of Christ

It is a natural temptation for you and I to dwell upon the obvious markers of Jesus Divinity.
After all, the list of miraculous and authoritative deeds that Jesus performed is tremendous.
Sometimes, however, I realize how little I consider his humanity.
While often ignored, this is a significant fact that is central to the Gospel message.
John 4:2 NASB95
(although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),
1 John 4:2 NASB95
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
2 John 7 NASB95
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
2 John 7 NASB95
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
One of the great mysteries of the faith is the Incarnation of Christ. Fully God and fully Man.
In spite of the challenge understanding this brings to our minds, the evidence of Jesus’ humanity is significant.
From the account of His birth as a baby, completely dependent upon the care of his parents, to stories of Him eating and drinking with others, to the many people who experienced His personal touch during His Earthly life, we see Jesus as Man.
Laughing, crying, angry, disappointed, compassionate, indignant, all of these are emotions that were witnessed by others.
Jesus’ humanity in this passage reminds us that, as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun.
Hebrews 4:15 NASB95
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Observation #2 - The Weakness of the Disciples

After the Passover Meal, after Jesus washed their feet, after 3 years of ministry, after arguing over who could be greatest, at least twice and likely three times the disciples could not be counted on to pray.
The disciples turned out to be giants of faith but at this point they were still spiritual shrimps!
Verse 41b - “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Before we become too critical of these disciples, let me remind us of our own failures. It is so obvious to us that the challenge to fulfill God’s call on our lives is much harder than we would like to admit.

Observation #3 - The Seriousness of the Moment

Luke 22:41–44 NASB95
And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
Luke 41-44
Jesus is at the verge of the cross.
The weight of all of mankind’s sin is about to land firmly upon Him.
He is about to become Sin, according to .
In mere moments, Judas is leading the arrest party.
All of eternity is about to change!

Takeaway #1 - There are moments when God has a specific plan for our lives.

Sometimes there are moments where God’s plan is not as detailed or specific.
This was not one of those times.
In , Jesus pronounced that He was born for this moment.
In , Jesus said that He didn’t even speak of His own initiative but the Father commanded Him what to speak.
There are times when God requires a specific response from you and I.
When faced with the agony of the deciding moment, will you follow His command?

Takeaway #2 - The first step is yielding not acting.

Jesus did not run from the cross, but He also did not run to it.
There were many times earlier in His life when people wanted to kill Him, but He knew that His Father’s plan was best.
Here in the garden, Jesus’ prayer is one of yielding. He surrendered to His Father’s plan by adopting it as His own.
This wasn’t new, only a culmination of what Eugene Peterson would call “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
Luke 9:51 NASB95
When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem;
Luke 9:51
In ; ; ; , Jesus moved continually toward the Cross.
All along the way to the Cross, Satan tried to distract and prevent Jesus from fulfilling His Father’s will.
Many times it seems easier to go the way of the world or our own desires than to follow God’s call.
In our lives, until we adopt His will rather than our own, we will never follow Him through the Agony of His call.

Takeaway #3 - Action is required to follow God.

Look at verse 46.
Matthew 26:46 NASB95
“Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
After the Agony of the moment, Jesus recognized that the end had drawn near and He embraced the call.
He got up from the moment of decision and acted in faith.
What is it that God is asking you to follow Him by faith to do?
Is it to teach? To surrender to ministry? To Salvation? Take the step of Faith! Act in the midst of the agony of decision.
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