The Garden of Gethsemane

Unlike Adam who failed at his calling and hid from God, Christ struggles through prayer and serves as the obedient Son to restore all creation back to God.

Scripture: Mark 14:27-51

Sermon Notes:

  1. In this text we see Jesus’ determination to do the Father’s will redeeming fallen humanity, and in the disciples we see the weakness of human nature apart from communion with God.
  2. Peter makes an emphatic claim of ultimate loyalty, as do all the disciples who do not realize their weakness.
  3. The leaders of Israel were increasingly hostile to Jesus and determined to eliminate him.
  4. Jesus was not immune to the effects of the horror of what was forthcoming. Distress overcame Him as he anticipated the loss of close communion with God the Father.
  5. Jesus sweated literal drops of blood under the severe distress and anxiety over becoming a sin-sacrifice. Jesus had to wrestle with this horror to be a perfect obedient sacrifice (Heb. 5:8).
  6. Jesus fully faced the horror of separation from the Father and He went forward willingly.
  7. Like Jesus, we learn to be truly obedient in the place of severe testing.
  8. In His human nature Jesus was weak and was not immune to the brokenness of the world.
  9. Repeatedly the disciples slept in weariness, weakness and fear. Christ alone prayed in the hour of darkness. Christ alone remained strong in prayer and faced His calling with complete willingness.
  10. Unlike Adam who failed at his calling and hid from God, Christ struggles through prayer and serves as the obedient Son to restore all creation back to God. In His passion Jesus resisted the temptation of Satan.
  11. Personal, solitary communion with God is a powerful mode of prayer. As we approach God our position is humility and the claim of our adoption as sons and daughters. The attitude of prayer is to be one of surrender to God’s will.
  12. The disciples fled at Jesus’ arrest. The flesh is always weak when it is not governed by communion with God.
  13. The kiss of betrayal by Judas was expected by Jesus, but the disciple reacted with shock and panic.
  14. Even at the moment of severe testing, Jesus upholds His allegiance and submission to the Scriptures.
  15. Increasingly the church today has false shepherds who flee from the authority of Scripture in the face of pressures from the World.
  16. The sword of Islam strikes blindly against the grace of Christ. It is useless to resist the reconciling grace of God in the cross of Christ.
  17. The gospel of Christ is more powerful than the sword of Islam.
  18. God’s grace is critical; it is a threat to human power and the power of the State. Christ Jesus atoned for sins by His total grace.
  19. Jesus was left alone in prayer, in temptation, in his arrest, and in his death. He loved not His life even unto death.

Application Questions:

  1. How often have we claimed loyalty to Christ only to deny Him soon after?
  2. Why was it necessary for Jesus to face death willingly?
  3. How can we find strength to remain faithful in the severe testing of life?
  4. How is the grace of God a threat to rebellious power structures?
  5. Why is prayer so often our last resort when we face a problem?