Share This Episode
Truth for Life Alistair Begg Logo

Jesus in Gethsemane (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2024 4:00 am

Jesus in Gethsemane (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1284 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 11, 2024 4:00 am

How are Christians supposed to face trials? Does fear of suffering reveal weak faith? Learn from the example Jesus set in the garden of Gethsemane as He considered the reality of what He was about to experience. Listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


• Click here and look for "FROM THE SERMON" to stream or read the full message.

• This program is part of the series ‘A Study in Luke, Volume 13’

• Learn more about our current resource, request your copy with a donation of any amount.

Helpful Resources

- Learn about God's salvation plan

- Read our most recent articles

- Subscribe to our daily devotional

Follow Us

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

This listener-funded program features the clear, relevant Bible teaching of Alistair Begg. Today’s program and nearly 3,000 messages can be streamed and shared for free at thanks to the generous giving from monthly donors called Truthpartners. Learn more about this Gospel-sharing team or become one today. Thanks for listening to Truth For Life!

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll

How are we as followers of Jesus supposed to face truth? If we experience fear or suffering, does that reveal weak faith? Christ, facing what he does, would take time to give them a word of exhortation.

What commitment? Compare the Gospel records. You must do this at your leisure, and you'll find that Jesus apparently left eight of them about a stone's throw away, close enough, presumably, to hear what he had to say. Otherwise, no one would have known and been able to write it down in the Gospels. Now, notice his posture. He withdrew about a stone's throw, and he knelt down. One of the other Gospel writers says that he prostrated himself in the ground.

It's interesting, because the last picture we have of anybody praying is in chapter 18, at least from Luke, and the Pharisee and the publican were praying, remember? And they were both standing. And one stood up and said, I thank you that I'm not as other men, and so on. And the other would not lift up his eyes to heaven. He said, God be merciful to me, a sinner. But here, in prayer, Jesus is kneeling.

He falls to his knees and apparently falls on his face. Do you kneel down sometimes when you pray? It's an expression of urgency, isn't it?

It's an expression of necessity. So Jesus says, I want you to pray. And then he practices what he preaches. Now, look at his prayer. Verse 42, Father, if you're willing, take this cup from me, but not what I want but what you want, not my will but yours be done. Here in the garden there is a preview of all that he's about to face, all of the agony. Here in the garden there is the onslaught of the evil one, like roaring lions tearing at him, their mouths wide open against him.

And here in this scene, he's almost beside himself with the horror he's about to experience. It's for this reason that we've taken time to establish the humanity of Christ. Because I think that sometimes we're tempted to believe that Jesus, in going through this experience, it was a kind of charade, you know, that he said these things, and it's said that he felt that way. But we say to ourselves, how could he possibly feel that way? After all, wasn't he God?

Well, of course he was very God, but he was very man. And in the perfection of humanity, he recoils. There's something wrong with somebody when they don't recoil from pain, when they don't recoil from fire. Somebody walks into a fire, you say, there's something wrong with that guy, right?

And there is. Either they can't see the fire, or their senses are so dulled, or they're on substances, but you don't just walk into the fire. Any normal person recoils from the fire, recoils from pain, and when the nurse says, just bend over slightly, and she has that thing in her hand, the blood pressure goes right through the roof in a normal person. Now, if you're brain dead, they can inject you all you like. It's not gonna make a bit of difference.

Nothing will happen to your blood pressure when they approach you. But in the normality of Christ, in the perfection of his humanity, he is recoiling from the humiliation. He's recoiling from the suffering. He's recoiling from the death. He's aware that he's not only going to suffer and die, but he's going to suffer and die as the propitiatory sacrifice for our sin. And in all of this, there are multiple dimensions. We noted this before.

I can go through very quickly. There is a physical reality to what he is about to face. Crucifixion is inhumane, probably the most brutal, cruel, and unnatural punishment known to man. There was nothing in the humanity of Christ to blunt his emotions or to anesthetize his sensitivity. It's a reminder to us that the atonement is not a theory worked out by theologians but that the atonement is a flesh and blood reality. So he recoils from the physical dimension of it.

There is a social dimension to it, isn't there? That the Lord Jesus was a friend to people. He loved his neighbor as himself.

That's why he told others they should do so. In Mark chapter 3 and verse 14, Mark says that he went out, and he put this little group of fellows together. He called the twelve, says Mark, to be with him. To be with him.

Not to walk fifteen paces behind him, not to do his bidding, but actually to be with him, to be his companions. And everything that we read in the Gospel suggests to us that he loved that, that he enjoyed relationships, that he enjoyed being with these fellows. Therefore, it is not difficult for us to recognize that he wouldn't think highly kindly of the idea of being removed from all of that. So Jesus was marginalized and condemned by the religious authorities. He understood that his family were embarrassed by him. And he recognized, too, that those who had been his closest companions were ready either to betray him or deny him or desert him. And he's about to die without any support, without any encouragement, without any appreciation at all, certainly from those who were his main group.

He's going to die aware of the fact that the folks who were his followers just thought he let him down. I'm unashamed in asking people to hold my hand. I don't care. The slightest approach of one of those hypodermic needles, and I'll hold anybody's hand.

I just am shamefaced about it. I just say, Who will hold my hand? I say, In the room. I say, Are you kidding me?

I say, No, I'm not kidding you. I'm dead earnest. Who will hold my hand?

I just laid down in the Cleveland Clinic a couple of weeks ago, and they brought the thing down with a laser surgeon. I said, Who is going to hold my hand? And no one would hold my hand. So I just held my own hand, just like that, like I was dying or dead. Jesus dies with no one to hold his hand, no friendly face and no word of encouragement. This is not a theory.

This is a reality. The hymn writer says in that wonderful hymn, you know, there were ninety and nine that safely lay, but none of the ransomed ever knew how deep was the water crossed or how dark was the night that the Lord passed through when he found the sheep that was lost. In fact, the experience is so draining that verse 43 tells us that an angel is dispatched from heaven to strengthen him. I love this little verse 43.

We won't delay on it, but I think it's fascinating. Here is Jesus, and I want you to pray, fellas. I'm going to go forward here, and now he prays. He recognizes the social, spiritual, emotional, physical, psychological reality of everything that is before him, and it is devastating to him, and an angel is dispatched from heaven to strengthen him.

I wonder what that was like. I don't know. It's not important for us to really delay on it. But what I find most fascinating is that verse 44 follows verse 43. You say, Well, it's supposed to.

Well, I know that, but I'm not talking about mathematically. Wouldn't you have expected that once the angel came from heaven, he would have made all the bad stuff go away? You know, the father sent an angel. Jesus is having a dreadful time. Angel comes. Jesus says, Oh, okay, that's much better. No, look at verse 44.

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly. After the angel shows up, apparently he's even in deeper straits than he was before the angel ever came. Again, loved ones, don't buy any of this silly stuff that's on TV about angels coming to you and making everything better and kissing all your boo-boos and all that kind of stuff. There is nothing in the gospel records to make you believe that.

Not for a split second. And even if the angel were to come to you, what do you think they're going to do? Do you think they can do more than the Holy Spirit? Do you think they can do more than the Word of God strengthening your mind by grace through faith?

Of course they can't. And after the angel had gone, he was in anguish and prayed even more earnestly, and he sweat so profusely that apparently his sweat was like drops of blood falling on the ground. Now, let me move quickly to my final point and say this as I'm bridging two. Surely we have here the mandate, if you like, for the legitimacy of our own human suffering. Surely, we must be very, very careful in saying to our loved ones, Come on, cheer up, you know. If you were a half-decent Christian, you wouldn't be feeling the way you're feeling.

You know, if you were taking the Bible seriously, you would be strong and tough and ready for anything at all. And here you are, down with your face in the ground, crying in the garden, beleaguered, overwhelmed, anguished to the point of apparent sorrow and to almost death. You're so bewildered by your grief that you're living in such a way as to make it seem that your grief is insupportable and it is likely to be fatal.

Well, here Jesus, in this garden scene, stands beside those of us who are emotionally overwhelmed, those of us who found that the loss of a loved one almost unhinged our minds, who found that a broken relationship so devastated us that it took month after month after month we couldn't drive past that corner of the street. That it took month after month after month we couldn't drive past that corner of the street. We felt that we would get in our car and we would drive it as fast as we can, in the hope that perhaps when we came around a bend, we might hit something coming in the other direction. And then we said to ourselves, How could we ever think such thoughts? Aren't we Christians? Don't we follow Christ? Don't we have the Bible? How could I be so overwhelmed to the point of devastating sorrow?

And is it legitimate ever to be so? Well, apparently Jesus was. This is certainly an antidote to the smarty-pants, slick, methodological Christian counseling snap out of its stuff. Half the time, we would be better just to hold each other's hands and cry together, then start bouncing around with calendar verses.

There was no calendar verse for Jesus here. Even the visit of an angel from heaven. And he prayed all the more earnestly and sweat all the more profusely. What compassion that facing such circumstances he should care for those who were his companions!

What commitment that in light of all that he was to go through, he should determine not my will, Father, but yours be done! And what an amazing contrast we find—a twofold contrast, one between verse 44 and 45, from his experience in the garden in prayer, and when he rises from prayer and goes back to the disciples, the wrestling is over. I don't think he came back beleaguered and overwhelmed.

There's no reason for us to think that he did. The reality that he had gone through was reality, but now he stands and ready to walk the path of suffering. And when he comes back to the disciples, here's the other contrast. He found them asleep. He'd said, Pray that you won't fall into temptation. He'd gone forward and prayed.

They had ceased to pray if they ever began, and they'd fallen asleep instead. Now, look, Dr. Luke—don't you love Dr. Luke? He seems to be such a gracious fellow. He explains that they were exhausted from sorrow. That's nice, isn't it? It's not a cop-out.

It's true. Have you ever been exhausted from sorrow? Do you remember when your mom died? Or when your father died? Or when your child died?

Or when your best friend was killed? And it was so easy. You could sleep at the drop of a hat. You could close your bedroom door. You could lie down and go to sleep. How can I go to sleep so many times in such a short period of time? I'm not even tired, but I can sleep.

What is this sleep? It is the exhaustion that comes from sorrow, the exhaustion that comes from sorrow, that all of my best longings and aspirations. Yes, Jesus, I'm going to pray. Oh, yes, I'm going to pray. No, I'm going to try again.

Thanks for coming back again. Yes, I'm praying now, Jesus. Yes, the third time he came and said, Could you not pray a little bit? He said, We're going to pray.

We're starting now. Read the other Gospel records. I'm not making this up. Three times he came back. Look at this.

It's fantastic. Why are you sleeping? He asked them.

That's a good question. I didn't tell you to sleep. I didn't say, Stay here and sleep. I said, Stay here and pray.

What part of that was hard to understand? So I said, Stay and pray. You stayed and slept. Why are you doing that? But I love the end, and it is the end. Why are you sleeping?

he asked them. I'm done with you guys. Finished. Sick of you. The whole twelve of you. One of you already has done a bunk. One of you is about to blow it out within a matter of moments from now. The rest of you are a bunch of scaredy cats.

You're all heading for the hills, running in, closing the doors, battening down the hatches so that no one will find you in case you come the same way as me. Really, I'm tired of you. I've done my best for you. I've preached some of my best sermons. I've done terrific miracles. We've had a fantastic time.

We've slept out here on the Mount of Olives on multiple occasions. I've given you everything I could give you. I gave you one word of counsel.

I want you to pray so that you do not fall into temptation. I go away. I come back. You're sound asleep. You're done.

That would have been perfectly legitimate, wouldn't it? I mean, God looks down from heaven, and he sees the state of affairs in the day of Noah, and he says, This is it. I'm going to flood the world. I mean, he's God. The whole world turns his back on him. He says, We don't want you, God. We don't want you interfering with us. He said, Well, why don't I just flood the world? I'll have an ark. I'll preserve my own. But the rest are gone. But look at this wonderful finish. Did they make a mistake?

Did they get it wrong? Yes. Why are you sleeping? Why am I sleeping when I should be praying? Why am I sleeping when I should be telling others about Jesus? Why am I sleeping Sunday nights at half past six when I should be here in the company of God's people praising his name and worshiping him?

But with God, failure is never final nor fatal. And look what he says. We're going to run the play again. We're going to do the same play.

We're going to run 2240 again. Get up and pray. Was there ever kinder shepherd, half so tender, half so sweet, as Jesus? I mean, I don't put up with this kind of stuff from people. I wish I did. I mean, if I did, I'd be a nicer person.

Most of you don't either. I move around. I hear your stuff. I see what you do. I know how you treat people.

I sit in coffee shops and overhear conversations. Yeah, well, he told me he'd give me another chance, but I was out the door. Done. Canned. Finished. I was just going to fix it if he'd give me one more chance.

I was getting the sales figures this month, but gone. You know, last Sunday was last Sunday, right? We laughed. We said, Okay, let's give it a go. Here it is Sunday again.

How did you do it? And if Jesus said, Okay, that's enough, how many of us would be ready for another Monday? But with the Lord, Jesus' failure is never final nor fatal.

He says, Let's run the play again. It's a reminder to them that they've got a future. They've got a future, despite the fact that they had a bad past. They had a bad immediate past.

That's grace. Did you have a bad Friday? Did you mess it up yesterday? He said to himself, There's really no point in me trying Monday again. You just took a triple bogey on the first hole. But there's seventeen holes to go. And the devil comes and says, You might as well chuck it. Took a seven on a par four. You call yourself Tiger Woods. Lost your ball on the first attempt. Give it up.

Resist him for him in the faith. One of my friends on the West Coast wrote a great little song. I wish I could remember it. I shouldn't try and quote it when I don't know it, but it goes something like, You knew me.

He's speaking of the Father. He says, You knew me. You knew I was lost. You knew me. You went to the cross because you knew me. You knew me. You knew all my shame. You knew me. The reason you came was because you knew me.

You knew that I needed your love. And God knows his children today. And he loves his erring children. And he's the God of the second and the fourth and the sixth and the six hundredth chance. And he's the God of new tomorrows and clean sheets and fresh beginnings and open doors and new opportunities.

He is the God who comes to his beleaguered eleven and says, Guys, I wasn't gone hardly any time at all. The instructions were clear, and look what you did. But he doesn't say, You're done. Get out of my sight. He says, We're gonna run the play again.

Twenty-two forty. Watch and pray. Let's see if we can run the play this time. Go out and run the play, will you? Come on!

Who's gonna reach Cleveland for Christ? America. The world.

What a funny group he started with. Not a lot has changed, has it? Look at yourselves.

Look at you. You're listening to Truth for Life. That is Alistair Begg with a message he's titled Jesus in Gethsemane. Alistair returns in just a moment to close today's program. Most of us are looking forward to celebrating Easter, but the period that follows between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost, that's an often overlooked season. It was an important time historically. For much of this time, the apostles were with the resurrected Jesus. He's the one who told them to tarry, to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. And with that season in mind, we've selected a book to recommend to you, a book of daily readings that extends throughout this important period of the church calendar. The book is called O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. This is a spiritually nourishing book. It guides you through daily worship that focuses on the risen Christ. You'll reflect on his saving work for all who believe and on the gift of the Holy Spirit, the one who enables us to understand and apply the truth of the Bible. Much of the content in this book is drawn from the writing of Puritans and other historical fathers of our faith, as well as from sources like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Ask for your copy of the devotional O Sacred Head, Now Wounded today when you donate to support the ministry of Truth for Life. You can give a gift through the mobile app or online at slash donate or call us at 888-588-7884.

And if you'd rather mail your donation along with your request for the book, write to Truth for Life at Post Office Box 398000, Cleveland, Ohio 44139. Now here is Alistair with prayer. Father, thank you for the Bible. Thank you that it is a living book that searches us and knows us. Thank you that there's a way back to you, the living God, from the dark paths of sin.

There's a door that is open that we may go in. And at Calvary's cross, that's where we begin when we come as a sinner to Jesus. Wounded for me.

Wounded for me. There on the cross he was wounded for me, and gone my transgressions, and now I am free, all because Jesus was wounded for me. Father, then help us to consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that we may not grow weary and lose heart. Strengthen us that we may be a help and an encouragement to one another, and to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with great joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty and dominion and power, now and forevermore. Amen. Thanks for starting the week with us. Tomorrow we will examine the confusion, corruption, and compassion displayed on the night that Jesus was betrayed. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-11 07:55:39 / 2024-03-11 08:04:49 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime