Naked in the Garden
Story of Owen getting his blood drawn.
Confidence is praised in our culture
We love and admire confidence
Confident leaders are seen as good leaders
There are psychological and sociological benefits of being confident and following a confident leader.
There are examples of confidence all throughout the scriptures and history that should garner our praise.
David and Goliath
Paul in Athens
The confidence of Martin Luther to stand against the Roman Catholic Church when he nailed is 95 Thesis on the church door on October 31, 1517.
The confidence of Martin Luther King to stand for racial reconciliation and social justice.
We see the benefits of confidence, we also see the tragedy of misplaced confidence.
I am sure we could all tell stories of our childhood when we suffered from misplaced confidence
Falling out of trees
We also see for more tragic examples in history
Financial investments gone wrong
Scandals in the church that devastate people
Misplaced confidence in ideologies and leaders have led to some of the most tragic holocausts in human history.
Confidence is only good when the object upon which it rests is indeed worthy of trust.
Owen had full confidence in his three year old self that he was tough enough to not cry when getting his blood drawn.
I have seen experienced many men and women have such a high level of confidence in themselves that it blinded them to reality. It blinded them to what was really going on around them.
This is where healthy confidence turns to ignorant pride.
On the surface its often hard to see the difference between confidence and pride.
But when you apply wisdom and discernment you’ll see that confidence clings to truth, while pride clings to self exaltation.
The Disciple’s Pride
The Disciple’s Pride
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
After the celebrating the first new passover, the new memorial meal of the new covenant Jesus and his disciples sang together and went out to the Mount of Olives.
The mount of Olives is truly a significant location
The Mount of Olives is where Jesus gave his Olivet Discourse concerning the destruction of the temple
The Mount of Olives is
The mount of Olives is the place where the Garden of Gethsemane is located (Gethsemane means “olive press”)
The Mount of Olives is where is where Golgotha is located, thus Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives
The tomb in which Jesus was buried is also on the mount of Olives
Thus when Jesus is resurrected, he is raised on the mount of Olives.
Not to mention the biblical symbolism that is associated with Mount of Olives such as:
Holy of Holies
and God’s dwelling place.
So we have Jesus going to this symbolically and historically charged location with his disciples and begins to warn his disciples about whats about to happen.
He quotes the Prophet Zechariah when he says in verse 27
27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Jesus has been shepherding his flock for three years, he has taken care of them, he has fed them, he has taught them. And now, once again, he is telling them about what is coming.
Jesus the good shepherd, the one who has led the disciples will be struck, and the sheep, or the disciples whooo scatter.
He tells them that you will all fall away.
This would be a tough pill to swallow if you are the disciples. To hear Jesus tell you that you are going to fall away, that you are going to run or scatter away from the shepherd.
Jesus here is referring to the events that are about to happen in his arrest, trial and crucifixion.
However Jesus leaves them not without hope
28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Here Jesus is telling them that not only is he going to be put to death, but that he is going to rise and he will go before them to Galilee -
He was going to gather them back together in Galilee, he was not going to leave his sheep scattered. He wasn’t going to leave his disciples, but rather he was going to gather them back together again.
However, the idea of the disciples leaving Jesus seems completely wrong to the disciples.
We then have a back and forth with self-confident Peter and Jesus
Peter responds to Jesus words in verse 29
29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”
Peter the great leader among the 12 completely throws the other disciples under the bus
Though these punks will fall away, I will not!
Peter is full of confidence. And this sort of confidence is often celebrated. He is a bold leader declaring his commitment to Jesus.
Though others may fall away, I will not.
I am so committed to to the cause that nothing would keep me from following the king.
Jesus then responds to Peters blind, misplaced confidence
30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
Jesus, want peter to truly understand what is about to happen tells him, that this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.
You would think that when Jesus, the one who has healed your mother in law, raised people from the dead and walked on water tells you something you’d listen.
However Jesus words fall on ears ringing with pride and self-confidence, and Peter does not hear Jesus.
Peter responds again,
31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
This time peter responds emphatically. He wants to make sure Jesus understands what he’s saying.
He wants to make sure Jesus knows how devoted he is to Him
He wants Jesus and everyone else to know that he no matter what happens he will not leave Jesus’ side.
IF I must die with you, i will not deny you.
He says this with such passion, with such emphasis, with such zeal that all the disciples jumped on board and said, yeah us too!
As if to say, “we stand with Peter!” we will not deny you. We are far more loyal to you than you think we are Jesus.
Like Owen boldly stating that he would receive the needle for a blood draw without crying, Peter says he will receive death before he denies Jesus.
Isn’t it amazing the affect that bold confidence can have?
If you and I were in that room we would side with Peter
We don’t want to be labeled as the person who denies Jesus and runs away with our tail between our legs.
And if we have such a confident leader like Peter, than we too can be confident.
But Peters confidence rested in his own strength and his own ability to do what he thinks is right.
When we look at what this seemingly bold, godly, and right decleration, we see that its actually foolish and weak.
First of all, Jesus says that this going to happen according to prophecy “for it is written”
For Peter to deny this he is stating one of two things
Either The scriptures are not true or Jesus does not know how to interpret the scriptures
Or Jesus does not know how to interpret the scriptures - or God is a liar
Peters confidence in his own righteousness was higher than his confidence in scriptures or Jesus’ interpretation of the scriptures
Second, For Peter to disagree with Jesus is to disagree with God himself.
Peters posture is one of such pride, that he is bold enough to state that Jesus, God in the flesh is wrong about him.
And not only wrong about Him, but eventually all the disciples agreed and said Jesus was wrong about them as well.
Pride blinds us to the truth.
Pride blocks our ears from hearing the truth
How should have peter and the disciples responded?
When Jesus told them that they would all fall away and scatter the disciples should have fallen on their faces and begged Jesus to provide a different way.
They should have asked Jesus how to be sustained in what was about to come
And beg him
They should have asked Jesus for the strength to be faithful
They should have humbled themselves under the words of Jesus and even cried out for forgiveness.
They should have confessed their weakness and their need for Jesus.
This is how Peter and the disciples should have responded, and how should we respond when our weakness, when our faithlessness, when our sinful arrogance and pride is made plain to see?
Will you agree with what the bible says about your sin?
Will you agree with what Jesus says about your sin?
When your pride is hurt because something doesn’t go your way will you blame everyone else? or will you own your sin and repent?
When your gossiping is confronted with the language of the bible calling it, slander, wicked, foolish, and even bloodthirsty - will we agree? or will we justify it in culturally acceptable terms such as “girl-talk”
When we lust with our eyes will we call it adultery of the heart? or will we say, “hey, I’m a guy”
You see as the heart of our walks with God is agree with God about who we are and what we do.
And the beauty of agree with God is that we not only confess our sins rightly before him, but we also receive the grace that he has promised us in Christ.
Not only are we arrogant and prideful people deserving God’s wrath
But we are forgiven of our sins by the blood of the christ, we are adopted into his family as sons and daughters, and where sin is present grace abounds.
We also agree with God concerning the grace he has given us.
Peter and the disciples set themselves up as an example of when pride and confidence find their rest in our own ability to do whats right and not in the words of Jesus and the scriptures.
As Jesus and the disciples go into the garden of Gethsemane we immediately see the futility in Peter’s confidence.
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 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.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 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. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
The depths of emotion in this passage cannot even begun to be explored in a single sermon
The depths of theology in this passage would take a lifetime to explore
So we enter these verses with some fear and trembling as we seek to understand whats going on.
First i want to show the stark irony of the disciples confidence with their inability to even stay awake while Jesus prays.
Second, I want to look at Jesus prayer and his anguish.
Tell the story:
Jesus and the disciples walking along the mount of Olives come to Gethsemane
Jesus tells the disciples sit down and pray as Jesus takes Peter, James and John with him further into the garden.
Jesus confesses his emotional state to the three letting them know how his soul so troubled that he feels like dying.
Never before have the disciples seen Jesus in this sort of state.
Jesus has been their leader, their champion, their king.
But now this strong leader is showing vulnerability. Never have they seen Jesus feeling so troubled, so distressed, so sorrowful that he feels like dying.
Jesus tells them to stay put and to watch and pray. The word watch here literally means to stay awake
So he tells them to stay away and pray as he goes a few yards ahead and prays
After praying once he comes back to the three and finds them asleep
37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
This mighty man of confidence who said he would not leave Jesus side, that he would die before he falls away now is fast asleep.
Jesus says, “could you not watch one hour”?
If Peter was truly loyal to Jesus, if Peter truly cared, if Peter was indeed willing to die for Jesus, how then could he not stay awake even for one hour?
How often do we after confronting our sins make pledges that we will no longer gossip, we will no longer let our eyes wonder, we will no longer allow ourselves to be distracted by social media.
And within an hour we are right back at it.
Man, we are peter in this story.
Often we like to identify ourselves with jesus
Asking God to take this cup away
Feeling distressed to the point of death
overwhelmed with sorrow and anguish
And our support systems fall asleep when they are supposed to help us.
And though Jesus is an example for us, but if we are honest we far more often play the role of peter. Misguided confidence that leads to sleeping when we should be watching and praying.
Jesus wakes Peter up and warns him
38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus then goes back to pray again
And again Peter James and John fall asleep
40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.
This time the shame and embarrassment began to set in, for when Jesus came and woke them up they didn’t even know what to say to him .
Again, Jesus goes to pray and comes back a third time
41 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. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
41 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.
Jesus told Peter that before the rooster crows he would deny him three times. Because of Peter’s pride he did not believe it.
And now, Peter has fallen asleep three times. This illustrates Peter’s weakness. Before he even denied Jesus one time, he fell asleep three times when Jesus told him to stay awake.
If Peter could not even be faithful with a little thing like staying awake, why would he have confidence that he could do a great thing like follow Jesus to his death?
And now, that the betrayer is at hand we will see how Peter responds
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him.
47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”
Now this is the second time Jesus refers to the scriptures being fulfilled.
The first time is what sparked Peters outrage, that he and the other disciples would fall away and scatter.
Now the second time Jesus refers to scripture being fulfilled shows us this fulfillment.
50 And they all left him and fled.
52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
And it begins, the disciples all left him.
Not even 20 verses ahead of when they all said they would not deny him but die for him.
And now they are all gone. Jesus is alone in the hands of executioners
And throughout the rest of the gospel of Mark we see Jesus continuing alone, to the point where he hangs alone on the cross even forsaken by the Father.
You see it was this reality that caused Jesus such anguish in the garden.
The Cup That Jesus Must Drink
The Cup That Jesus Must Drink
You see, Jesus’ feelings of anguish and sorrow, the feelings he expressed to the disciples that made him feel like dying was nothing less then Jesus feeling the reality that he is about to drink the cup of God’s wrath.
We often think that Jesus’ turmoil in the garden was because of the physical torture that he was about to experience.
But what we find is that the cup of God’s wrath is far more paralyzing than the idea of physical pain.
many great men and women throughout church history have suffered excruciating deaths for their faith without the anguish expressed by Jesus in the garden.
Jesus’ anguish was not just the physical, but the spiritual as well.
35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 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.”
Jesus prays that this hour, and this cup might be removed.
You see, the hour has come, now in the garden Jesus begins to drink the cup of God’s wrath
Part of this cup is indeed the physical shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins
Jesus is about to go through some of the worst physical punishment anyone could ever go through.
We will spend more time on the physical as the story of Jesus’ passion unfolds in Mark
There is also the reality that for Jesus to drink this cup of God’s wrath he must do so alone.
This begins in the garden,
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.
His closes friends abandon him
Judas betrays him
Peter denies him
Israel rejects him
and ultimately God himself would forsake Jesus and leave him alone.
Jesus would have to drink the cup that contained the guilt of his people
Never before has Jesus ever experienced guilt.
Jesus Christ the PERFECT son of God, who has been in a perfect eternal relationship with God the Father, never once experienced any symptom of sin now will bear the guilt of every believers sin.
God the father placed my guilt and your guilt upon Jesus.
The guilt of my prideful arrogance, the guilt of my wondering eyes, the guilt of my gossiping tongue was placed upon Jesus.
By drinking this cup Jesus would also receive upon himself the wrath due sin
God the father has graciously been storing up the wrath his people deserve throughout time.
In the cup of God’s wrath we find the due justice of Adam’s sin, of Noah’s sin, of Moses’ sin, of Abraham’s sin, of David’s sin, of Peter’s sin, of Paul’s sin, of your sin, and my sin.
The wrath we deserve God has stored up and is now pouring out on Jesus so that it doesn’t have to be poured out on us.
Jesus will absorb it all, he will become sin for us.
This is why no other could drink from this cup. No other is worthy. Only the one who was perfect, only the one who was sinless could pay the price of our sin, of our guilt.
You see, Jesus was troubled in the garden so we don’t have to be troubled, he took that upon himself
Jesus was alone so we no longer have to be alone
Jesus took our guilt so we no longer have to bear the weight of our sin
And Jesus took our wrath so we could escape the justice of God and be pardoned of our sin because Jesus took it all upon himself.
This is why Jesus was so troubled, this is why Jesus was forsaken, this is why Jesus felt the weight of death in the garden, because he would soon drink the full cup of God’s justice.
As we close I want zoom out and look at what is going on in the garden from a more biblical theological perspective.
And get our focus just right i want to read the last two verse for this morning
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
This verse seems very strange, and its curious why its in the text.
In fact, most commentaries and pastors want to focus on who this young man was.
But rather than trying to identify who this young man was (which if Mark wanted us to know he would have told us), I want to see who he represents.
So first of all, we should ask ourselves, where else do we see someone who is naked running from the presence of God in a garden?
This would bring our attention back to Genesis chapter 3 where Adam and Eve find themselves full self-confidence and pride,
thinking like Peter and the disciples, that they could be like God. They eat of the fruit and realize they are naked, they then run from the presence of God in order to hide themselves.
And this story of Adam and Eve begins the story of humanities sins filling the cup of God’s wrath that Jesus is about to drink.
And now we are back in a garden and all running from the presence of God
And the second Adam is there in the midst of the garden receiving upon himself the judgement that all those who have fled deserve.
You see this man running naked represent Adam, running from God, running from his justice.
The young man in the garden running away naked represent us.
You see, because we are born in Adam, born with the curse of sin, we stand naked and ashamed.
But Jesus, the second Adam, the firstborn of the New Creation, has taken our sin upon himself and has clothed our nakedness with his own righteousness.
Because Jesus drank the cup, we receive adoption and are clothed with his own garments.
We now can enter boldly into the throne room of God and receive mercy and grace in our times of need.
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.