Jesus In The Garden
Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 16, 2013
Let me ask you a question. Why did Jesus have to die? I listened to hundreds of preachers say, “Jesus would have died for one person.” That is like spending thousands of dollars on a trip to Jamaica, returning home to tell your friends about the beaches, laying a grain of sand in front of them and saying, “see.” How does that explain the personal experience you had?
Put yourself in Jesus’ spot for a moment. Minutes before His arrest He takes three disciples into a garden to pray. As Jesus pours His heart out to God, He returns to find His disciples sleeping. Would you die for a world sleeping when they should be watching? Would you willingly give your life to a group of individuals unable to provide the support you need when you are about to give the ultimate sacrifice for them?
Jesus began and ended His time in the garden with scripture. On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.” (Mark 14:27, 49 NLTse). In between Jesus prayed to His Father, the only One who would listen. God’s Spirit led Jesus back to His disciples to see them sleeping. God wanted His Son to see what He was dying for. To say Jesus died for one sinner shows how this world is sleeping. It shows how we have turned Jesus’ sacrifice into another idol designed to serve ourselves.
Jesus needed a reason to take that next step, to willing offer Himself as a sacrifice to God. Jesus knew how Satan and His followers were let loose to tempt Him with everything they had. To endure the hours ahead, Jesus needed a supernatural reason to die.
Has anyone bothered to read the scripture Jesus referred to at the beginning of His trip to the garden? “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, the man who is my partner,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs. (Zechariah 13:7 NLTse). If they had, they would have been shocked to see what Jesus was pointing to.
“On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity. “And on that day,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them. If anyone continues to prophesy, his own father and mother will tell him, ‘You must die, for you have prophesied lies in the name of the LORD.’ And as he prophesies, his own father and mother will stab him. “On that day people will be ashamed to claim the prophetic gift. No one will pretend to be a prophet by wearing prophet’s clothes. He will say, ‘I’m no prophet; I’m a farmer. I began working for a farmer as a boy.’ And if someone asks, ‘Then what about those wounds on your chest?’ he will say, ‘I was wounded at my friends’ house!’ (Zechariah 13:1-6 NLTse).
God promises to open a fountain of water to cleanse us from all our sins. This is only apart of God’s plan of salvation. He also promises to remove the false prophets and idols that feed the spirit of impurity. All the prophecies taught about the Messiah by all the religious leaders were false. That is why they killed Jesus. Would any of us die for a world that could not see and did not want to understand?
Put yourself in Jesus’ spot. What do you think Jesus thought about when He prayed to His Father? How did God answer His prayers? Did Jesus think about the times He had with His Father laying plans for the salvation of this world? Did Jesus think about the love He received from His Father and protection over the past 33 years? Did Jesus think about what He came to teach? What did Jesus came to teach? Wasn’t something to do with how much God loves this world? How was Jesus going to illustrate this love in the few hours He had left? Was He going to give up? What would have happened if Jesus gave up?
God had a choice. He could either free Satan to do whatever he wanted to do with His Son, or free Satan from the chains that bound him to this world to spread his hatred and destruction throughout the universe.
Jesus remembered the time He spent with the Father initiating the plan of salvation. For generations the Spirit gave details of the plan of salvation to this world through God’s prophets. Jesus came to fulfill hundreds of prophecies. If Jesus had given up to save His life, He would have disgraced His Father in front of the entire universe. This world already proved they had no idea what was going on. People clung to misconceptions about the prophecies like idols. They turned God’s plan of salvation into a self serving pack of lies, much like people turn the cross into a self serving form of religion.
It was nothing less then Jesus’ love for His Father that took Him to the cross. Jesus showed His love for His Father by offering His life in exchange for the life of this planet. In exchange, God gave Jesus His Kingdom. The universe witnessed the God’s exchanging unconditional love. This world has yet to grasp that concept. God gave His Son to this world. Jesus gave His life to bring glory to His Father by protecting His reputation. Jesus saved God’s Kingdom by exposing Satan and his plans. God gained everything and gave it to Jesus, His Son. Jesus shared it all with us, the sinful sleeping race of beings who still cannot understand.