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2008-02-17_My Soul Is Deeply Grieved_Matthew 26.31-56_SL

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My Soul Is Deeply Grieved

Matthew 26:31-56   |   Shaun LePage   |   February 17, 2008


My Soul Is Deeply Grieved

Matthew 26:31-56   |   Shaun LePage   |   February 17, 2008

I.       Introduction

A.    My mother, phone call, friend died, wept—so human.

B.    One reason I believe doctrine of humanity of Christ is He, too, grieved. Other proofs: hunger, thirst, fatigue, physical growth, etc. But Jesus felt compassion and anger; wept and grieved deeply—undeniable proofs of His humanity.

C.    In those final hours before the Cross, we are given a vivid picture of the humanity of Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane we truly see the God-Man. A perfect model of how to deal with the human struggle.

II.     Body—Matthew 26:31-56

A.    (30-35) Jesus told them “you will all fall away”—but the disciples said “never!”

1.     (30) “a hymn” Passover singing from Psalms; “Mount of Olives” outside Jerusalem

2.     (31-35) “fall away” another shocking revelation (see 26:2 & 21); then quoted Zech 13:7; Put yourself in disciples’ shoes—what would you have felt/said? Amazingly, they confidently told Jesus “Never!”—didn’t believe Jesus!! Peter: “never fall away…will not deny” (35) and all the disciples “said the same”. Earlier, thought they might betray Him (22). Imagine how they felt later—after they had “fallen away” and remembered prediction. Humiliated, hurt; But, why tell them? Was Jesus whining? Wanting everyone to feel His pain? Didn’t they feel bad enough already? No way! Jesus preparing them: God already knows (told prophet long ago). Yes, you’ll fall away, but get past it; Look at promise v.32! After He rose, meet in “Galilee”! See 28:16—“fall away” not end of story! When you “fall away” don’t stay away long.

B.    (36-46) Jesus told them “watch and pray”—but the disciples slept!

1.     (36) “Gethsemane” (lit., “olive press”), John: “garden…often met there”; perhaps grove of olive trees—whatever: something enormous happened there. There to “pray”—like many times before; “fell on His face” (39).

2.     (37) “Peter…2 sons of Zebedee” (James & John)—apparently, left other 8 at entrance, these 3 to pray with Him “keep watch” (41 “praying”); “began to be grieved and distressed” strong words—both idea of heaviness; depression; Luke 22:44

3.     (38-44) “deeply grieved, to the point of death” Very honest: “I may die right here!”; Very human, but amazingly—very Divine! Eph 4:30 what “grieves” God? Gen 6:6; Ps 78:40; Is 54:6; 63:10—Sin! Notice: What did He ask for? “Let this cup pass from Me”. Was “this cup” suffering/death? No. Don’t think Jesus was afraid to suffer and die—faced with great courage/peace—Luke 12:4,5, John 12:27. “Cup”=God’s wrath (e.g., Hab 2:16, Rev 14:9,10). See Gal 3:13, 2 Cor 5:21; about to “become sin,” receive God’s wrath in our place; Father about to “forsake” Him—27:46. In all eternity, Jesus had never been forsaken by His Father. Now (we can’t understand) going to happen. Jesus asking: Any other way for mission (i.e., our salvation) to be accomplished without being forsaken and subjected to the Father’s wrath. Answer? No other way. If there was, Jesus death unnecessary; 3X, Jesus asked, “saying the same thing” not exact words, but “same” requests: cup pass and “Your will be done” consistent—Mt 6:10

4.     (45) “disciples…‘still sleeping’”? 3X! “watch with Me one hour?” (40) soon forsaken by Father, already being forsaken by disciples; if “watching and praying” would they not have “entered into temptation” and “fallen away”?

C.    (47-56) Jesus told them “it must happen this way”—but the disciples resisted!

1.     (47) “Judas, one of the twelve” like, “Yes, that Judas! Unbelievable!”; “large crowd with swords and clubs” Why? We’ll come back to that!

2.     (48-50) “kissed” compound verb: kiss repeatedly! Same word used (Lk 7:38) of sinful woman, (Lk 15:20) Father of Prodigal, and (Ac 20:37) of Ephesian elders and Paul; Why “sign…kiss”? Dark, make sure they arrested right man, perhaps Judas trying to conceal betrayal from Jesus/disciples? Readers horrified—worst kind of hypocrisy; “Friend, do what you have come for” Idea: Jesus made it clear to Judas that He was not fooled by His kiss (“Friend, why this charade?” TM)

3.     (51-52) “cut off ear” disciples—now awake—showing v.35 sincere but misguided! “shall perish by the sword” overused verse; not speaking against self-defense, defending country in armed forces—but vigilante justice as well as trying to defend or extend the kingdom of God with physical weapons (Eph 6:12-13, “armor of God”)

4.     (53-56) Back to earlier question: Why “large crowd with swords and clubs”? Didn’t know Who Jesus was! Didn’t understand that if Jesus resisted, they could not arrest Him (53; Jn 18:5-6 “fell to the ground”). Certainly didn’t understand Jesus was going to willingly go, be tortured, killed according to God’s plan (54,56); I wonder who was in that crowd. Same crowds who heard Sermon on Mount? Fed with 5 loaves/2fish? Witnessed healing leper/paralyzed man/blind/little girl brought life? They were deceitful and about to commit a crime, “But…Scriptures” Jesus said. Amazing statement of sovereignty of God hand-in-hand with free will of man; “left Him and fled” I wonder: How soon after this did they remember what they had said in v.35?

5.     Matthew: 2 more “Scriptures fulfilled”. John: Peter cut off the ear. Luke: Jesus healed ear. Mark: young man fled without linen cloth (naked!). Why different? Different purposes? Eyewitnesses (Mt, Jn, Peter thru Mk, Lk thru several)—stories fit together without contradiction, but include different details (like eyewitnesses of car wreck); explains most of the differences between Mt, Mk, Lk & Jn.

III.   Closing: Much to learn from disciples and Jesus (a lot of blanks, but just scratching surface)…

A.    Learn from the disciples

1.     Feeling proud like the disciples? Be careful. 1 Cor 10:12. disciples overconfident; neglected praying for strength—failed/fled. Pride leads us to let our guards down and say “never”: “never commit adultery”—so alone with opposite sex, not spouse; “never drink again”—just one won’t hurt; “never” famous last words—be sober minded!

2.     Feeling sleepy like the disciples? Be alert. 1 Thes 5:6. Disciples let “flesh” overrule “spirits”. Slept rather than “watch and pray”. Jesus command clear, but physical selves won out over spiritual selves. “Keep watching and praying”—always!

3.     Feeling wise like the disciples? Be foolish. 1 Cor 2:7,8,14. Disciples thought they knew best way—force. But Jesus: “It must happen in this way”. Seems foolish, but God’s way was the Cross for Jesus. And, as foolish as it may seem, God’s way is the way of the Cross for us, too. Cross represents call: Gal 2:20. Leader? servant. Rich? poor. Strong? weak. Live? die to ourselves. Sounds foolish, but the way of the Cross!

B.    Learn from Jesus (so much here!)

1.     Jesus was truly man: Believe God’s Word. Humanity/incarnation very important: Scriptures can’t be believed about anything else if—as some teach—Jesus did not come in flesh; But so much more! Mediator, High Priest, Atonement, Heb 4:15

2.     Jesus was genuinely tempted: Seek God’s help. Choice to sin? picture Jesus grieving—sin grieves God! “Deeply grieved”? remember what Jesus did: prayed!

3.     Jesus was completely submissive: Choose God’s will—Jesus in “garden” by God’s design—like Adam, face a test: Reject the will of God? Without Gethsemane, no Calvary. If He failed there, no Cross, still dead in our sins; God’s will usually most difficult, but always best. Do everything according to “Scriptures” (revealed will)

IV.  Closing Prayer…

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