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March 28, 2021 1:00 am
Before Jesus was betrayed, He went to a garden called Gethsemane to pray. Even though He was fully God, His humanity was on full display. Jesus asked for the company of His closest friends as He prayed. The time had come for Christ to take upon Himself the sins of this world and the wrath of the Father. He accepted this cup from the hands of the Father so that we could be restored to God.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
The place is very very old olive trees are growing there the date back over a thousand years, situated on the slopes of the Mount of olives. It overlooks the ancient city of Jerusalem.
You can visit this place today and it looks much the same now as when Jesus was here thousands of years ago. It's called Gethsemane from Chicago. This is The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Lutzer join us for a special Palm Sunday broadcast as we hear from our children and then a message on God in the garden pest elixir comes now to open our service are so glad that you are worshiping with us today on Palm Sunday and there's a reason why it is called Palm Sunday. Of course, because as Jesus went down the mountain. The Mount of olives.
The Bible says that they cut down palm branches and they put them a little later on I'm going to be explaining to the children.
The significance of that that this is a Sunday and we do this, perhaps during the Christmas season and during the Easter season Palm Sunday is the day here at The Moody Church where we emphasize the ministry and the life and the importance and value of children. Jesus, of course did it in his ministry as he held them. The disciples said to get them away from us and he said no for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, we honor the children. Also, because on Palm Sunday they were among the crowd that shouted, hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, but with me on the platform today is one of our children here at The Moody Church Joy Elizabeth Sutton Joy how old are you eight and you're going to give the opening prayer today you already have your palm branch all right would you do that, would you invite God's blessing and you pray for us all right. Please pray you have teens I just think people like you. You live. Your and you're saying Jesus even in Jesus name we pray to the Mount of olives and Jesus said to disciples, saying to them, go into the village of front you and immediately you will find a gnocchi time and a coat with her untiring and bring them to me. If anyone said anything to you, you shall say, the Lord needs them.
He was intimate once this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, say to the daughter of Zion, behold, your King is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a coat. The photo of the beast of burden, the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed. They brought the donkey and the coat and put on them their clothes, and he sat on most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees and spread the mother in the consulate before him, and her father were shouting little children to Jesus to touch them, but the disciples rebuked when Jesus saw that he was indignant. He said to let the little children come to me and do not hinder that for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you that she anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter son we all know Jesus loves me, like all the big people to sit down and all the children and kids to come to the platform. You have a lesson with Pastor Lutzer in just a minute. If you are if you are kindergarten through maybe six grade or even younger, and you bring your parents if your real small.
Okay, let's think you see here we are with the children. There's a little girl over here who should be sitting on my lap but she doesn't want to right now she's three years old and her name is Evelyn Dykstra and she is my granddaughter but right now she doesn't want to sit on my lap so let me choose this little girl. What is your name here right maybe will provoke Evelyn to jealousy girl. What is your name Lily, you have a last name, honey.
Okay. And how old are you five wonderful can you just hold my Bible for second okay hang on to it. All right Lily, here we are. Are you doing over there little Evelyn.
I think God in his infinite wisdom has put it into the heart of children to not perform when they're supposed to, so that their parents and grandparents are properly humble children. Let me ask you a question what city is it Jesus was going to on Palm Sunday Jerusalem. Can anyone tell me the mountain that he was on his he was going down yet.
The Mount of olives, the Mount of olives and Jesus is going to Jerusalem as we know, and among other things, they waived palm branches now. The reason that they took palm branches is just hold one of them up. Rebecca there would you hold one of them up. Yes, everybody can see it.
That's Rebecca Noss. There and the reason is all right now. We've seen them how beautiful they are there beautiful symmetry and they became a symbol in the Christian church of victory. That's why thank you children very much.
That's why, in the book of Revelation.
It says that they have palm branches in their hands when they are standing on the shores of heaven.
It is a symbol of victory.
As a matter fact, Christians used to take the palm branch and they would actually put to various reliefs of it even in cemeteries because of the knowledge of the resurrection so they always believed that these were symbols of victory. So here we have Jesus coming into Jerusalem, and in a sense, he's victorious, but in a sense he isn't because he is going to be crucified. Now I want to read just what happened before Jesus came down the Mount of olives or while he was coming down it says in the Gospel of Luke, and when he drawn near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying that you even you had known on this day that things that make for peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes for days will come upon you when your enemies will set up a barrier around you and tear you down to the ground and they will not leave one stone upon another, because you didn't know that Dave your visitation very sad passage but Jesus wept over Jerusalem and you know children. This shows you how much Jesus actually does care for us. He cried about the city that wouldn't receive him and you and I as we live in Chicago or the Chicago area. We should also have hearts that are very soft. We should be.
We should feel sorry for those who don't have the blessings that we do and who did not know Jesus Christ as we have come to know him. Let's have the compassion of Jesus. Now were going to pray together and I think we should pray for the children of the world. Think of how precious these children are yet all over the world are children who do not have the same opportunities as these do. Can we cry out to God for them, and if you know a child that you want to pray for you. Be sure to pray for them as well. Let's join together in prayer.
Father, we want to thank you today that your word says that Jesus cry. He wept as he looked over the city of Jerusalem because he thought of the children that were in Jerusalem.
Many thought of their moms and dads and he thought of everything that was going to happen to them that was going to be so sad and we pray today that you might give us eyes like Jesus had eyes that we too might cry over the great needs of the world. Thank you so much for these children that are on this platform today. Thank you father for the ministry of Abby Noss and others who work with her in the children's ministry here at Moody Church. We pray that you might bless it. We pray that you will bring volunteers because constantly there is need of help in this great and growing ministry and so we we pray to your father that these young ones whom you love may be nurtured in the faith, help us to know how to help parents so that these children will grow up loving you and serving you and Debbie able to look back and to say, surely God has had a great impact in my life. We pray for all the parents, Lord, only you know their needs, conflicts, financial needs. Other kinds of needs.
We pray and ask only God that you will show mercy and then beyond these walls we pray for the city of Chicago and the needs of its children. Thank you for ministries like by the hand club for kids and others that are trying to impact them and to show them that there is a better way that through Jesus Christ. They can have the fullness of life. All Lord, we pray. We pray for the children of the world, many of whom Lord today do not have food and clothes, and parents.
Father, we to weep for the world today, and we ask that in grace, you might help us to be the people we should be to help those who are in need to point them in a better direction to show them the love of Christ and to give up our financial needs so that we can help them Lord. Today we pray for our president.
We pray for those who advise and we pray for the government all of its aspects.
We pray all father today made this nation still turn to you in faith, we asked bring about a great sense of repentance as we turn to you in Jesus name, amen know that word gets M&A refers to a wine press and Jesus there was trodden the winepress is that it is there.
I like to think of it that he was squeezed as a flower in the beautiful aroma arose to God because of what took place in their that's why I've titled this message God in the garden while we almost want to take the shoes from off our feet as we listen to this passage of Scripture and as we contemplated because we know that we are eavesdropping and a marvelous prayer but a prayer that is excruciating in its implications as Jesus is there wrestling in the garden of Gethsemane. Now sometimes we think to ourselves that Jesus is not really an example for us and the reason that we think that is because we say will he was God and I'm not one of course he was God. He had a divine nature, but I want to remind you that Jesus did not take refuge in the divine nature. When he was going through this struggle. He endured this struggle as a man without depending upon the divine nature to help him we see his incredible honesty and we see the fact that this of course is in Matthew Matthew chapter 26 if you turn there in your Bibles.
Please, Matthew chapter 26, where we see the story here of Jesus in Gethsemane.
We see his humanness in two different ways. First of all we see it because Jesus calls the disciples to be with him.
Three of the disciples. Chapter 26 verse 36 then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane and he said to his disciples sit here while I go over there and pray and taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said my soul is very sorrowful, even to death remain here and watch with me while he took with him Peter, James and John. Those who had seen him in his glory who were there on the Mount of Transfiguration now see him in his agony and when you're going through agony. You need your friends next to you, don't you know sometimes we say to somebody, all I'm praying for you all. That's wonderful, but there are times when we have to have people pray with us and watch with us because there are times when things are so dark and so bleak and so hopeless we can't make it unless somebody is next to us watching with us. Jesus invites them to do that, the humanness of Jesus. Everything that strikes us about his humanness is his honesty. You'll notice very clearly. He says my soul is sorrowful, even to the point of death.
These are very strong words what he means is that he has a sorrow that is a killing kind of sorrow, Martin Luther looked at this passage and says that no one feared the process of death as much as Jesus.
Nobody has feared death or the prospect of dying as much as Jesus did right here the question of course is what is the cup you'll notice I rated a moment ago you file on his face. Verse 739 or I should read it going a little farther, he fell on his face, and prayed saying my father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as you will is a bad cup. Some people have thought that the cup is simply the sorrow of Jesus dying on the cross never stopped to think about how awful it must be to die on a cross.
I mean hanging would be a blessing, but to be able to to go through the experience of being nailed to a cross and then writhing therefore maybe three days before you die. I can't even put my mind around it. So some people are saying that Jesus feared the death of crucifixion but of course we know that that can't be the complete answer because there were other people who were crucified to accepted it much better. And of course we have in the history of the church martyrs who went to their martyrdom with a great sense of during the days of the Huguenots in France when they were marching Christians to their death. It is said that the Christians saying so loudly that their enemies got a band to drown out there singing as they went to their death while sure looks as if they accepted it much better than Jesus here. It can't be simply because of the death of crucifixion and the pain that would be inflicted as a human being awful though that was there's a second answer that people have given. That is the Jesus feared that maybe the devil maybe the devil tried to kill him prematurely before he went to the cross.
So Jesus is wrestling there because he knows he has to go to the cross. But he and the devil are duking it out there in the garden of Gethsemane and the devil wants to kill them. I can't really be the answer.
First of all I think were giving the devil more credit than he deserves, because Jesus said just a couple of hours before that I go and the prince of this world has nothing in other words, there is nothing within me that correspondence to him so that he can derail God's eternal plan. Now the devil was working in a different way. He was putting it into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. But we cannot say that it is the devil for that reason. But there's another more powerful reason in John 18 after Gethsemane is over.
In John 18 after Gethsemane is over and they come to arrest Jesus and remember, Peter tries to cut off the servant of the high priest actually Peter was aiming for his head and this just cut off his ear.
Remember that story.
Jesus said this put up your sword and then he said this. This is after Gethsemane the cup which my father has given me, should I not drink it. He said that well after Gethsemane the attack of Satan.
Whatever it might be was not the cause of Jesus Christ's anguish. What was the cup. The cup was the fact that Jesus was going to become sin for the world and that we don't know what that all involves we speak about it and we contemplated but nobody can really understand what that is like for the holy son of God to come in contact with sin. He who was with sinners in life is now going to stand in their stead in his death, Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian says that Jesus Christ, he looked into the furnace of God's wrath and the fury of God's wrath and he looked into that furnace, knowing that it was into it that he soon would be thrown and so Jesus began to see what he would have to go through in order for us to grasp at least a little bit. Think of it this way, those who are in Helen will be in hell will suffer for all of eternity. A lot of suffering and a suffering that last for all of eternity. Now take that length of suffering and this squish it together in three hours during the darkness when the father turned away from the sun and kept squishing that into three hours and bearing all that in that period of time. Think of that Jesus is praying here to the father and he saying father if there is some other way, you'll notice that the text says my father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not so's I will but as you if it's possible you know during the medieval times. They used to have huge discussions on theology and one of them was whether or not to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was absolutely necessary, and whether or not God could use some other blood.
The blood of another person, or even the blood of the donkey. The discussion went, and therefore it is simply choose to say that that's the sacrifice will answer that question is no. There is no other way by which redemption could have been accomplished except that the holy son of God came shedding his blood and died in our place. There is no other way and that's one of the reasons in your discussions in university classrooms and colleges across the backyard fence people with whom you go to work in six or why Jesus why not somebody else will somebody else may be a teacher or a Guru.
But there is no other person who is a sacrifice that God will accept it was Jesus Christ sacrifice alone.
There is no other way. Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, but obviously it wasn't possible because the cup did not pass from him. He prayed it three times. You'll notice that the text says, and again a second time.
Verse 42 he went away and prayed my father if it is possible so that's what the cup was the cup is the wrath of God the father against sin. That's what the cup is, and we cannot even begin to fathom what that really means. We've only spoken about it and tried to grasp it. What about the acceptance of the cup. Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt. That was the song's final word on the topic father if there is no other way to do this by will.
John thy will be done and so he offered himself and said that he would go through with it and thankfully he did, because if not, you and I would not deem today. There were really 3 cups on Calvary actually there was the cup of compassion. The Bible says they took murder and they mingled that murder with some wine and they gave it to them and the reason for that was it was a sedative so that it dulled the pain.
To some extent Jesus really didn't drink it because he wanted to taste death and all of its horror without a sedative and then there was also a cup of mockery, a member of the soldiers. They took some cheap wine like vinegar and they they put a sponge into it and then they held it to his lips. They were kind of mocking him at that. There is the cup of compassion.
There was the cup of mockery. But here we have now the cup of the Nick and that's the cup that Jesus drank without medication without anything that would deaden the pain of what the wrath of God really was against sin CU nitrates and so lightly way say well you know there's a good cure for it and that is repentance and faith in forgiveness. Yeah, but think of what the sin did to Jesus and what the sin does to the father death and the curse were in our cup. Oh Christ was full for D but thou hast drained of the last dark drop to 70 now for me. He drank it completely to the dregs well. Thank God he did.
Thank God he did. Now, what are the take away lessons for you and me. Why should our lives be changed because we've heard this message couple of thoughts that are transforming I think for all of us and that is that sometimes the most earnest prayer is not answered the way in which we would like to see it answered. It may be answered but not like the way we wanted answered if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. That's his desire prayed to the father three times and three times the answer is it is not possible. Now the question is does God answer Jesus Christ prayers. Yes, I believe that even this prayer was answered. It's interesting that in the book of Hebrews.
It says that Jesus cried to the father with long-suffering and tears and was heard in that he cried and a great word heard means that God got the point. And God heard it in the sense of responding. He didn't respond to the desire of Jesus to find another way that he did respond to the desire of Jesus, ultimately, to say if there is no other way I'm going through with it, not my will but thine be done.
So God answered but not according to his initial Jesus Christ's human desire and sometimes our prayers are answered. Either God heal that person take care of this look into that situation and resolve that end, we pray this with a great deal of fervency and over and over again and it's okay to repeat the same prayer, especially when you're in distress but Jesus said it's not possible because I have another way, I have another way and we have to bow with Jesus and say that I will be done. I will be done. Sometimes you hear on television with those who want us to believe in prosperity and health in every situation they say never add that because if you add that it negates the whole prayer because that really shows that you don't pray in faith. Well, I don't know if I agree with those folks. I think I'm going with Jesus on this one.
Like I frequently do I like to go with Jesus on this one, and a lot of other things to I like to go with Jesus now. If it be possible that the answer is no. What nevertheless I will be done.
Let me give you a second lesson in this is very transforming and should be used by God to deliver you from a lot of resentment and anger all kinds of other things. If you grasp this theologically and that is simply this time our cup because we all have a cup that God is asked us to drink our cup must be accepted from the hand of God, not the hand of man are cup has to be accepted from the hand of God, not the hand of man. Now I hope that you understand how the Scripture functions at this point and how theology works. You see, Jesus didn't say the cup which the Sanhedrin had given to me I will drink it. Shall I not drink it and say that we might think what he should've said the cup which Pilate is giving to me. I shall drink it, as nobody said he could've said that the cup which the Jewish leaders are giving to me to drink I shall drink it is not what he said he could've said the cup which the Roman soldiers are giving to me.
Shall I not drink of the God was going to use all the different people and groups that I just mentioned to do the terrible deed of mailing Jesus to the cross. But how did Jesus see it.
The cup which my father has given me. Shall I not drink it.
You and I need to see beyond the instrument. We need to stand and look at it and look beyond the immediate cause is there somebody in your life who wants to crucify somebody who wants to do you in somebody who's out to get you somebody who wants to minimize somebody wants to put you in your place once for all, and you are angry with them and you are angry with your situation and you say to yourself, it's their fault, etc. which it may be, but do you see this as coming from Satan and from people, or do you say cup which my father has given me I shall drink it every once in a while people send me poems and you know I don't use poems very often. Nothing wrong with them just don't but this one was given to me a couple of years ago by somebody who had a dispute with somebody else. This poem delivered this person from anger and resentment and gave them the grace to forgive and it is really really excellent.
Theologically, this is good theology is entitled from his hand. I will not take that bitter thrust which rent my heart today is coming from an earthly soul, though it was meant that way but I will look beyond the tool because my life is planned. I take the cup. My father gives. I take it from his hand.
He knows and even thus allows these little things that irk I trust his wisdom and his love. Let patience have her work those human means have brought this staying I firmly take this stand. My loving father holds the cup, I take it from his hand. Now those who watch may wonder why these things do not disturb. I look right past the instrument and see my Lord superb trial which would lay me low must pass through his command.
He holds the outstretched cup to me. I take it from his hand.
You are today were God wants you to be. And if you begin to accept that cup is from his hand instead of from the person who wants you crucified give you a whole different perspective because God's perspective is so much bigger than ours. Remember, the cup comes not from those who would harm us. The cup comes from the father is a final lesson and that is that Tim you know it's really not about us.
At the end of the day it's about God and his purposes.
You know you and I are born with such a sense of self aggrandizing. We are all narcissists at some level we are all concerned. I heard in a man over there and actually, there should have been a couple thousand of them right now. I'm sure that your wife appreciated it said it, it's hard for us to realize that it's not about us. It's not about our happiness is not about whether or not we like the cup that is been laid on us. It has everything to do with Jesus.
It was William Barclay who says the love of God wants what is best.
The wisdom of God knows what is best.
The power of God can accomplish it at the end of the day.
It is his will and not ours. So I'm asking you today what are you hanging on to that you say this is mine.
I close my hand and I refuse to open it to God and give it to him. I refuse his intrusion into every area of my life. It has nothing to do with us folks look at Jesus in Gethsemane. It has everything to do with him. His will is desires and what God has planned. You know I love this song and I mentioned it once on the radio because I don't think it's in our hymnal and thank God a lot of people connected with me and said we can send you the words so somewhere in my file.
I now have the word so those of you are listening.
You don't have to send me the words anymore. I could find them if I really really had to.
I love this though, my Jesus, as thou wilt. All made thy will be mine, into thy hands of love I will. My goal resign through sorrow or through joy conduct me as thine own and help me still to say, my Lord, thy will be done.
The end of the day it's not about us. When you begin to think that you need your own way. You need your prayers answered, you can't live with your predicament because God isn't coming through for you and is not doing what you think a good God should you think of Gethsemane and let us not forget Gethsemane because it reminds us of the humanness of Jesus and what he endured and he went through with it so that you and I could be redeemed.
He didn't back out of the tough assignment and he bore that cup of course is all of us know Jesus also during the same period of time just before this he went to and he was with the disciples and the Bible says that he took bread and broke it and said this bread is my body which was broken for you. He took the company's is this cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. This drink in remembrance of me. Why we don't have his cup to drink, exactly. But when we drink the cup that he left for us. The cup that reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus and we remember his death until he comes in. By the way, is coming when we do that we are reminded of his suffering on our behalf. We worship we repent we yield and we give ourselves without reservation to the one who is willing to drink the cup on our behalf and if you are listening to this and you've never trusted Christ as Savior. You have never believed on him. Let me assure you that when you come to him and you receive his forgiveness. You two are accepted because then you will know that he drank that cup for you to let us pray father we stand in all of what your son endured. We stand in all of Calvary. We stand in awe, father of the son of God dying giving the world. Words of forgiveness. Words of hope and then in the end, saying, into thy hands I commit my spirit.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, that the work was accomplished. It was done and we praise you.
Hope is now father to worship you acceptably may we withhold nothing.
They nothing else mattered in your glory.
Jesus name we pray. Amen on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Lutzer palm Sunday message on God in the garden close look at the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane next week joyous Easter program. Don't miss winning against death proclaiming the triumph of the resurrection in song and spoken word. The church is under attack like never before.
Rights we once assumed we had our being torn away. Erwin Luzerne has written an explosive new book. We will not be silenced to help us respond courageously to our culture's assault on Christianity. This book will be sent with our thanks for your gift of any amount to the booty church. Our just call us at 1-800-215-5001.
Ask about. We will not be silenced when you call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moody offeror.com that's moody offeror.com. Join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin Luzerne, the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church