1. *((illus))* *Symbols are important to us.*
a. Ever *since 9~/11 we’ve seen a lot of flags* being displayed.
i) Some on car windows.
ii) Some sticking up above car windows.
iii) Some on lapels.
In the *college sports world*, symbols are a rallying point.
i) The head of an Indian – FSU
ii) An alligator.
iii) Colors – blue and gold; garnet and gold, the crimson tide.
c. *Symbols are important*.
2. This morning we come to *a table with symbols on it.*
a. Symbols *of reality.*
We must constantly remind ourselves that the reality is more important than the symbol.
c. Symbols of *what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross*.
At the beginning of our service we used the symbol of *palm fronds* that mark the last week of Jesus prior to his going to the cross.
*3. *We’re coming to near the close of *our “fly-over” of John’s* *Gospel:*
The Intimate Gospel.
Our text today *CONTAINS SEVERAL SYMBOLS WHICH WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND AND BETTER APPRECIATE THE SYMBOLS ON THIS TABLE*.
These symbols are real, historical places and items.
4. John 18:1-11 (page 914)
*/1 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees./*
*/2 Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times with his disciples./*
*/3 The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a battalion of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him.
Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove./*
*/4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him.
Stepping forward to meet them, he asked, “Whom are you looking for?”/*
*/5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said.
Judas was standing there with them when Jesus identified himself./*
*/6 And as he said, “I am he,” they all fell backward to the ground!/*
*/7 Once more he asked them, “Whom are you searching for?”
And again they replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.”/*
*/8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus said.
“And since I am the one you want, let these others go.”/*
*/9 He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I have not lost a single one of those you gave me.”/*
*/10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant./*
*/11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath.
Shall I not drink from the cup the Father has given me?”/*
* *John’s account emphasizes:*
a. the *poise* of Jesus and his *readiness* to be taken.
b. the account of *the arrest* of Jesus.
The *private ministry* of our Lord with His disciples has now ended.
The *public drama of redemption* is about to begin.
b. Man will do his worst, and God will respond with His very best.
7. Let me call to your attention this morning just *3 of the symbols from this Scripture* and chapter which help us enter into the meaning of the cross.
*GUILT AND GRACE IN THE GARDEN*
**THE GARDEN – SYMBOL OF OBEDIENCE - :1*
a. */After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees./*
i) The grove of olive trees is more literally translated simply as *“a garden.”*
ii) The *Kidron Valley* is located east of Jerusalem, between the city wall and the Mount of Olives; and the Garden of Gethsemane is on the western slope of Olivet.
iii) *Jesus often went to this Garden* with His disciples, no doubt to rest, meditate, and pray (Luke 22:39).
¨ Jerusalem was *filled with pilgrims* attending the Passover, and Jesus would want to get away from the crowded city to a private place.
¨ He *knew that Judas would come* for Him there, and He was ready.
iv) In John 13-16 Jesus had been in the Upper Room teaching His disciples.
¨ In John 17 He offers up his High Priestly prayer
¨ We looked at this last week.
b. *Human history began in a Garden* (Gen.
i) and the *first sin* of man was committed in that Garden.
ii) The *first Adam* disobeyed God and was *cast out* of the Garden,
But the *Last Adam, Jesus*, (1 Cor.
15:45) was *obedient* as He went into the Garden of Gethsemane.
i) In a Garden, the *first Adam brought sin and death* to mankind;
ii) but Jesus, by *His obedience, brought righteousness* and life to all who will trust Him.
2:8) He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.
d. *History will one day end in another garden*, the heavenly city that John describes in Revelation 21 and 22.
i) In that garden, there will be no more death and no more curse.
ii) The river of the water of life will flow ceaselessly and the tree of life will produce bountiful fruit.
The *symbolism presented by Eden* is that it was the Garden of disobedience and sin;
i) While the *GARDEN** OF GETHSEMANE IS THE GARDEN OF OBEDIENCE* and submission.
f. Beginning in :3 we see *Judas coming with the soldiers* to betray Jesus.
i) “battalion” = 600 men.
ii) If it were not so tragic, it would be funny imagining these soldiers stumbling over themselves getting into the garden after one man, even though they no doubt expected some type of opposition..
iii) Talk about fear and overkill!
g. Imagine *THE PERSONAL HURT TO JESUS* to have Judas betray Him!
i) Judas had been hand picked.
ii) He was one of Jesus’ closest friends.
iii) He had been given the special responsibility of being treasurer for the entire band of disciples.
iv) *Have you ever been betrayed by*:
¨ A spouse.
¨ A friend who gossiped away your reputation?
¨ A family member?
¨ A coworker who took credit for your work?
¨ A company who fired you just before retirement?
¨ A business partner who progressively shoved you aside?
(a) Then you understand something of the emotional suffering Jesus went through.
But what *fascinates me* about this Garden of Obedience is in :6