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Abandoned for Me

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
April 6, 2022 9:00 am

Abandoned for Me

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 6, 2022 9:00 am

Jesus was well accustomed to getting a clear response from God when he prayed. But there was once where God was completely silent.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. The physical suffering, as bad as it was, was not the essence of the cross. The essence of the cross was abandonment by God. In Gethsemane, Jesus looked full into the cup of God's wrath against our sin, and it overwhelmed him so badly, is literally squeezing the life out of him. Welcome back to Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Midovitch. You know, Jesus was well accustomed to getting a clear response from God when he prayed. He truly had the first and only real hotline to happen.

But there was one time when God was completely silent. Today, Pastor J.D. continues our new teaching series called Instead of Me, and shows us how necessary it was for Jesus to be abandoned for me and for you.

As always, if you miss any of our programs, or if you're in search of our featured monthly resource, you can find it all online at And don't forget that 50% of all gifts given between April 4th and 8th are going straight to meeting physical and spiritual needs in Ukraine right now. So join with us in being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need in our world. Grab your Bible and a pen, and let's join Pastor J.D. in Matthew chapter 26, verse 30. When we left Jesus last week, he had offered to his disciples the bread and the cup that represented his body and blood given for them, verse 30. And after singing to him, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus came with them, verse 36, to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, sit here while I go over there and pray.

Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said to them, I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me. Going a little farther, he fell face down and he prayed, my father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.

Yet not as I will, but as you will. Then he came to the disciples and he found them sleeping. And he asked Peter, so could you not even stay awake with me for one hour? Peter, stay awake and pray so that you won't enter into temptation.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, my father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, then your will be done. And he came again and found them sleeping because they could not keep their eyes open. Verse 44, after leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.

Then he came to the disciples and said to them, are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let's go. See, my betrayer is near.

And while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the 12, suddenly arrived. This is the kind of passage where I feel like there's just not a lot in here for me to really be creative with. And the right response here is not for me to try to organize this into a teaching line, the outline with a lot of illustration and application. I feel like it's in there primarily for two reasons for us. Number one, it is to confront us with the magnitude of what Jesus was about to do for us. And then number two, to show us the response that you and I are supposed to have to what Jesus did for us. You know, one of the first things I think we have to acknowledge about this scene is that Jesus does not appear to be going to his hour of death with the defiance and the bravado that we might have expected. In fact, if I could be so bold, he almost appears weak, even scared.

A lot of the world's other great martyrs, by contrast, died with their fist in the face of the evil empire, defiantly saying things like, I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid of dying. Bring it on. Give me your best shot.

I'll never back down. Think of scenes like the ones that are portrayed in movies like Gladiator or Braveheart. Socrates, for example, was cool and stoic when he went to his hour of execution. Plato, who records the scene, tells us that when Socrates was handed a cup of hemlock to drink so that it would kill him, he colored his face did not change and even cracked a few jokes. He was defiant to the end. We know that many Jewish heroes who died around the time of Jesus died in much the same way.

People like Spartacus or Maccabees. We know that many of Jesus's followers have gone to their hour of death defiantly and bravely. One of my favorites is the story of Polycarp, who was the student of the apostle John. And when he was 86 years old is when the emperor sent soldiers to get him to execute him. And they went to his house and ones who were there said that Polycarp was sitting there very calmly. And when the soldiers came in and told him that they were taking him away so that they could burn him at the stake, Polycarp asked for a few minutes alone to pray. And he got down on his knees right there in the presence of the soldiers. And he prayed very calmly for 15 or 20 minutes. And finally they took him off and took him into this coliseum where there were thousands of people gathered and the emperor was there and they tied him to the stake there so they could burn him at the stake.

And they asked him if there were any last words that he had. And Polycarp very calmly looked up at the emperor and he said in the presence of all these thousands of people, you think that I'm afraid of this fire? You think I'm afraid of this fire? This fire burns for just a moment and then it is extinguished. You emperor, you should be afraid of the fires of hell. I'm not scared of these temporary flames. You should be afraid of the eternal ones. Come on boys, bring on the fire.

And that's how I want to go out, right? I mean that's a hero, that's a martyr. Yet here we see that Jesus is approaching death with a different sort of spirit. He is trembling, he is stammering, he is going back and forth frenetically between God and his disciples. He's asking God if there is any other way. Matthew even says at one point, verse 39, that he falls face down.

He is too weak even to stand up. Martin Luther observed, he said, never we see a man go to his hour of death fearing death like we see this man fearing death. What's really strange about this whole thing is that everywhere else Jesus is the one who shows unflinching courage in the face of danger. Right before this, for example, Jesus's disciples are trying to dissuade him from going to Jerusalem because it was so dangerous for him there and there were people who wanted to kill him. But Jesus said, no, this is my destiny, this is where I must go. Right after this he's going to stare Pilate in the face and he's going to tell Pilate that Pilate has no authority except what heaven gives him and he's going to say that with stone cold resolve.

So the question we have to ask is what is happening at this moment that makes it different? Where's this defiance and bravery that we see at other points in Jesus's life? Verse 37 gives us a clue. It says that as Jesus prayed he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Began, began means that Jesus saw something there in the midst of praying that wasn't there before. As he was praying something is revealed to him that he had not seen up until this point. The word translated sorrowful is a very strong Greek word that can mean horrified especially when you couple it with the word troubled. One scholar says it indicates the kind of feeling that you would have, for example, if you came home and found your entire family mutilated. Whatever Jesus saw in this moment was so troubling that he said he almost died from it. You see verse 38 I'm deeply grieved to the point of death remain here and stay awake with me. Jesus was not one prone to exaggeration in moments like this which meant that Jesus in this moment saw something that was so horrifying that he literally almost died from it. Luke would take this a step farther and explain what was happening. He says that Jesus was under such strain that he began to literally sweat great drops of blood.

A condition that doctors now call hematridosis where you're under such strain that the capillaries in your face and extremities begin to burst. I never really understood what that meant until one of our pastors told me a story. He said when my sons were younger he has three boys. He said my wife and I were at our community pool. He said we were the last ones there.

He said there's no lifeguard on duty. He says my wife and I took our three sons and went to get in the minivan to go home. He says when we got to the minivan we realized that two of our sons were there and one of them was not.

So we turned around to go back. He said I walked into the pool area and I saw he said what is the most horrible scene that I cannot erase from my mind. He says I saw my my youngest son who is about five years old lying still at the bottom of the pool. He said I jumped in there after him. I picked him up.

I put him on the deck. He said we began to revive him. We called the ambulance. He said now thank God we actually did revive him and the ambulance got there. They took him to the emergency room and he said he you know he was he was breathing again and everything was fine and the doctor said you got to him just in time he's going to be okay. Right else said he said they asked if they could keep him overnight just to observe him because they wanted to make sure that everything was okay and he said after the doctor left the room he says my son was just resting there he said was sleeping and I noticed that all over his face were these little purple blotches and so I called the doctor back in and said doctor what's what are these things what's wrong with him and he said there's nothing wrong with him he said I don't know exactly what happened but the best I can tell is that when your son was drowning when he was going under the water he was screaming so loudly and so fervently for you or your wife that that these little capillaries all over his face began to burst he was under such strain. He was under such strain. I want you to let this sink in for just a minute that here in Matthew chapter 26 we see the son of God the eternal word of the father who spoke the worlds into existence who walked on top of angry waves who could speak in calm storms who stared down demons and disease who could literally raise people back to life from the dead under such strain under such strain that he feels like he's going to die and the capillaries in his face begin to burst what did he see what did Jesus seen that troubled him so the real question is what he had not seen you see there in verse 39 when Jesus calls out to God his father as he had numerous times throughout his life what you will see that is unique in this situation is he gets no response he refers to God as Abba the Aramaic word for father which indicates a term of closest intimacy but for the first time in all of eternity in all of eternity God the son calls out on the name of God the father and the father is silent you see up until this moment Jesus had enjoyed the closest intimacy with the father so much so that he consistently withdrew to be alone with God in a time of trouble to draw strength and comfort from the presence of God and the father had always radiated back toward Jesus with openness sometimes even affirming him publicly but now for the first time in eternity only silence and so Jesus stumbles back to his disciples looking it seems for for some kind of comfort from them he hasn't received it from the father and so now he's going to his disciples and so he wakes them up and he says guys I just need you to be with me I mean there's something that's tender about this it almost reminds you of a child who's scared at night and goes to his his mom or his dad and it's like mom just stay awake with me or maybe a child's getting ready to go into surgery and they're scared and they're like mommy just hold my hand Jesus just needs somebody to be with him but the disciples aren't there to help him because they're asleep asleep while the most significant moment in history unfolds in front of them utterly unaware of the significance of what is happening disloyal to the one who has been nothing but loyal to them asleep when heaven and hell are in the balance y'all can I stop for just a minute and say what a revealing picture of us asleep under the most significant of circumstances unaware of the magnificent things that are taking place in front of them that's another sermon for another sermon for another day you're listening to summit life with jd greer you're joining us this week as we've committed to joining with a trusted ministry partner to provide humanitarian and spiritual support in ukraine the ukrainian baptist theological seminary has shifted its focus from education to humanitarian aid currently serving 350 displaced people every day we're thankful for their ministry and we want to join with them in making the gospel tangible so give us a call at 866-335-5220 and help us provide much needed supplies for our brothers and sisters in ukraine thanks for being here with us today and now let's get back to today's message here's pastor jd asleep they are so verse 42 jesus goes back again to the father saying the exact same thing again father did you not hear me why are you not responding if there's any other way save me from this and again only silence what's happening what is happening william lame the new testament scholar says that the only explanation for these events is that here in gethsemane listen god has already begun to turn his face away the judgment for our sin has already begun before the first nail was driven into jesus's body jesus soul was being abandoned by god jesus had lived his entire life you see with the approval of the father and now in the moment that jesus most needed his heavenly father god is turning his face away and jesus staggers under the weight of it almost to the point of death william lane says this is the horror of one who lived wholly for the father who came to be with his father for a brief interlude before his death and found hell rather than heaven open before him in that moment he faced aloneness utter aloneness you ever felt alone i mean really alone maybe it came on the heels of a betrayal betrayal by a trusted friend or maybe a spouse maybe it was when you walked through some dark trial that nobody was there to walk through with you and everybody forgot about you or maybe it was you were going into some kind of medical thing that nobody around you could really understand the kind of fear that you felt and the kind of aloneness and the pain that you struggled with on a day-to-day basis jesus felt that in matthew 26 not just aloneness but also rejection you ever been really really rejected really rejected i think about what it would have been like for me to have turned away from one of my children in a moment when they needed me to have one of my children look to me in a moment of pain or weakness and for me just to turn away from them in scorn and say you're not even my child can you imagine how crushing that would be to one of my children did my children have only known me for a few years and i am not a perfect father what must it have been like to lose the infinite love of the father that you have known unbroken for all of eternity is it possible even to describe this and i feel like there's nothing that i can say that'll actually make us understand what jesus is going through no illustration that enables us to feel the magnitude and the weight of this any human analogy that i come up with only takes away from the darkness and the bitterness of this moment this is the horror of one who lived holy for the father who came to be with his father for a brief interlude before his death and found hell rather than heaven open before him somehow in that one moment jesus got a glimpse of an eternity in hell for us because see that's what the essence of hell is the essence of hell is complete abandonment by god you see when i was younger i always thought that what made jesus's death so bad were the physical horrors of the cross and yes they were terrible the roman historian cicero tells us that one of the roman's goals in crucifixion was utter humiliation and so they began the crucifixion process by beating the victim to a point that they were barely recognizable cicero said that when they use that cat of nine tails with the pieces of bone and glass in it that would lodge into the skin and rip it off as they beat the person he said it was not uncommon to see a rib get a whip get a hold of one of those ribs and it would go flying from the the frame of the man that they were beating they say it is very likely that when they got finished beating jesus he was at least partially disemboweled then they put nine inch nails through his hands and his feet they took a crown of thorns of an inch and a half long each and shoved it down into the skin between his forehead and his skull the prophet isaiah said he was beaten so badly that he didn't even look like a man anymore you would have known who he was had you had not already known his face was so swollen and beaten then he was nailed up on a cross naked in a public place in the full light of day so yes the physical horrors of the cross were terrible but listen that is not in gethsemane what made jesus stagger what made jesus stagger was the abandonment by god that he faced that was the horror of the cross for him that's honestly why the gospel writers don't go into much gory detail about all the physiological aspects of the crucifixion they don't go into detail because the physical suffering as bad as it was was not the essence of the cross the essence of the cross was abandonment by god in gethsemane jesus looked full into the cup of god's wrath against our sin and it overwhelmed him so badly that it almost killed him just the sight of it gethsemane means an aramaic oil press and that's exactly what's happening here to jesus the reality of god's wrath the reality of hell is pressing in on jesus and it is literally squeezing squeezing the life out of him i hesitate to use this because i don't want to cheapen this moment at all but it's like reminded me of that scene in the force awakens when ray is drawn to luke's lightsaber she didn't know why she's drawn to it but as soon as she touches it soon as she reaches out and grabs it she gets this swift but overwhelming glimpse of what is about to happen in her future and it's so overwhelming that it knocks her to the ground here you find jesus get down on his knees to pray and find comfort in the arms of his father and he gets a sudden but overwhelming glimpse of the wrath of god against our sin and he almost dies from it just the sight of it so he prays three times father if there's any other way there's any other way let this come pass from me had jesus ever prayed another prayer that had not been answered yet this one is not answered at all for me because there was no other way isaiah 51 17 describes god's wrath against our sin like a toxic cup a cup of wrath who have drunk the dregs the bowl of wrath for sin the cup of staggering and what you're seeing is jesus drink this cup of wrath and it is literally making him stagger that cup was going to be offered to you and i it is eternity apart from god because of our sin and jesus stepped in the way and he said i'll take that cup and he drank it for us jonathan edwards describes this moment like like a like being in front of a gigantic dam that that breaks i was doing some ministry in nevada and one of the days i was at the hoover dam and you may have seen this magnificent structure this just holds back a body of water that is hard to get your mind around how big it is imagine that you were standing a few hundred feet down from that dam in the valley below it and you look up and i saw a crack begin to form in the dam and then one of the bricks spring out of it then five or six and then the entire thing breaks open on a wall of water five or six hundred feet high comes rushing down that valley you've got nowhere to go you can't outrun it you know that death is is certain edwards says that wall of water is coming to you about to sweep you away suddenly the the ground before you opens up a gigantic chasm and all the water goes into the chasm beneath you so that not a drop of it touches you he said this is what jesus did in gethsemane is the the wrath of god was coming against our sin and jesus stepped in the way and said i'll take every drop of it so not a bit of it remains for them he the cup was offered and jesus took it he drank it to the dregs he turned it over on the table and he said it is finished if i had been there and i had tried to stop jesus if i said no no what are you doing don't do that jesus would have said no there is no other way either you drink this or i drink this and if you drink it that you're apart from me forever i'm going to go onto the cross and i'm going to drink the cup of god's wrath because your salvation is something only i can accomplish you know jonathan edwards the puritan theologian went on to ask the question he said why why do you think god showed jesus this in gethsemane why give him a glimpse before it actually began i mean it's almost cruel it's almost a little dangerous a little risky because what if jesus had lost his nerve at the site what if jesus had backed down what if he had not gone through with the cross why not wait until jesus was secured by nails to the cross to then give him the glimpse of this terrible reality jonathan edwards answer which i think is correct and i'll paraphrase but it his answer was this it was so we look at this it was so we could see jesus go to the cross voluntarily knowing full well what he was about to experience so that his love for us would be put on display even more god wanted you and me to see jesus see the wrath of god to see what he was about to experience and to voluntarily choose to go into it so that we would know that it was not this situation that he just got caught up in he knew exactly what he was going to face for us and he chose to do it with eagerness and joy because of his love for us he wanted us to behold what manner of love the father has given to us that we would be called the children of god because god was demonstrating his love toward us and that while we were yet sinners christ died for us there was no other way he was truly abandoned for us you're listening to pastor and author jd greer on summit life pastor jd this week we began a new teaching series titled instead of me what's the big picture that we should be seeing as you teach yeah molly in this series we're going to stay all in the gospel of bathew and what we're going to see is that in the events leading up to the crucifixion that god actually gave us a profile of the human heart and he gave us several individuals around the events of the cross that we can see ourselves and as we focus on the cross and the resurrection of jesus as we get closer to easter we got a book of 10 devotions that we've we've written that are put together that will help you write the put together that will help you refocus on the gospel and the teachings of jesus it takes five of jesus's key parables and over 10 days walks you more deeply into them and helps you apply them to your own life if you'll go to you can find out how to reserve your copy how to become one of our gospel partners and become a part of this ministry be sure to get in touch with us today to reserve your copy of listen up 10 devotions from the parables of jesus it comes with our way of saying thanks when you donate to support this ministry and don't forget that 50% of every dollar given this week will be used to help meet needs emerging from the war in ukraine just call 866-335-5220 or you can give and request the new devotional resource by pastor jd online at i'm molly vinovich inviting you to join us again tomorrow when we continue the teaching series titled instead of me on summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 22:00:37 / 2023-05-10 22:10:49 / 10

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