Gethsemane

Text: Luke 22:42-44; Mark 14:32; John 18:1-6

Prop: a poster of Thy Will Be Done by Danny Hahlbohm

Summary: When Jesus faced his most difficult decisions, he prayed earnestly and persisted in following God’s will for his life.

Have you ever faced great danger? Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do? These are times when we need to pray to God. We have a great example from our Lord Jesus.

On the night before he was crucified, Jesus was in great danger. Judas, one of the twelve disciples, had left the Passover meal and went out to betray Jesus. Judas went to accept a bribe of thirty pieces of silver in return for telling the priests where they could find and arrest Jesus. Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, just outside of Jerusalem, to pray. He was feeling very sad. It was here that the greatest battle by a single person was ever fought.

(Read Mark 14:32] When we are facing troubles we need to pray. That is what Jesus did. In fact, he prayed the same prayer three times. Jesus prayed so hard he was sweating heavily. (Read Luke 22:42-44] Jesus had to choose whether or not to go on and accept the penalty of death on the cross for our sins. This was the hardest decision of his ministry. He would have to bear our guilt and the sins of the whole world. Jesus was saying he wished he didn’t have to go through with it, but he put his will aside to obey his Father’s wishes for us.

Jesus had the courage to go on. He was willing to do whatever God needed him to do, even to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus could have called on thousands of angels to protect him from being arrested, but he allowed himself to be arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

A great band of soldiers came with Judas and the priests with torches and swords. Some say this was several hundred armed soldiers. Jesus could see them crossing the Cedron brook and had time to escape, but his mind was already made up. He would endure the cross for us. He loved us that much! When they approached, Judas came up and kissed Jesus on the cheek to show the soldiers who to arrest. Jesus stepped forward and asked them Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto themI AM he. Not since he had uttered those same words to Moses at the Burning Bush had the invisible force of God’s spoken words been so strong.* The Bible says his answer was so powerful that these soldiers were knocked off their feet and fell backward to the ground. Then he told them the terms of his own arrest, telling them to only arrest him and to let his followers go.

Today Jesus is still a wanted man. People still seek him. Because he loved us so much in the garden of Gethsemane, he can still be found. He is the great I AM, the Son of the living God. When you are facing troubles, remember to follow Jesus’ example of praying for God’s will to be done.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

*Acknowledgements to Hal Lindsey: A Prophetic Walk Through the Holy Land (c)1983, published by Harvest House Publishers.

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