In the Garden of Gethsemane by Pastor David

Resurrecting – Elevation Worship

The Garden of Gethsemane

Mark 14:32-34 NLT
32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief…” another translation states “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow.”

The point of the verse is not lost, Jesus is deeply troubled and distressed (vs 33).

Most of us don’t imagine Jesus as ever being in a state of trouble or distress. Yet, Scripture is plain. Jesus was both full God and fully human. Here we see a glimpse of the humanity of Jesus.

Yet a question lingers, If Jesus knew all things, why would He be in distress and His soul be troubled? The church father Augustine asks the question of Jesus:

“How can you ask my soul to follow you when I see your own in so much turmoil?”

Again he says, “many martyrs have gone to their death much more calm, stoic and joyful? Why [the] agony?”

Could it be that other martyrs have simply endured the painful reality of an untimely death?
Could it be that death came not by their consent nor was it within their power to change?

Jesus however, was the one and unique Son of God who had infinite power at his disposal. He could have chosen to put an end to the undeserving death he was to experience. Could he not call forth legions of angels on his behalf and instantly deliver him from this impending trial, mockery and tortuous death? With simply a word, could He not reveal to the world the power and majesty that were His?

In a sense all of his power was bottled up by choice.

It was contained tightly for two reasons.

One, he deliberately chose complete obedience to the Father which meant suffering and death.
Secondly, he contained his power out of love to save and reconcile those who would believe in him from eternal destruction. Indeed, Jesus had every legal and spiritual right to put an end to this treatment because He was the one and only spotless, sinless person to walk the face of the earth. Jesus, the righteous one, denied his right to defend himself and denied the use of his divine power.

He knew that the only way to bring true fellowship between humanity and God was to atone for sin. It was more than a mere martyr’s death. Jesus was to become a curse for us.  He was to be separated from His Father.  He was to carry the entire weight of the sins of the world upon Him.  We cannot imagine the trouble His soul experienced.

The place His soul experienced this grief was in Gethsemane. It was an olive orchard named, “Gethsemane” which literally means olive press. From the pressing of olives comes forth olive oil. The harder the olive is pressed the more oil is squeezed from the olive. Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, was squeezed so much that he bled drops of blood. He knew the weight of the sins of the world would soon be upon Him. He was under an enormous amount of pressure knowing that he would be separated from HIs Father. He would soon become a curse in order to redeem the world.

This pressure however, soon inaugurated the power and oil of the Holy Spirit for you and me. Hallelujah! Jesus was willing to despise the shame and endure the cross for the joy set before him! He knew that unless He went to the Father the Holy Spirit would not come. (John 16:5-7) Today, rejoice that Jesus willingly suffered so that we may have eternal life and the power of the Holy Spirit!

A Beautiful Jar and a few Silver Coins by Pastor David

Matthew 26:6-16

Jesus contrasts two people in Mark chapter 14.  An unnamed woman and Judas.  

Jesus’ feet is anointed with costly perfume by a woman. Some estimates state the value of that one bottle of perfume was around $20,000! It was an extravagant gesture, a waste in the eyes of many, yet Jesus commends her.

When Judas hears Jesus’ response Judas is furious and immediately leaves to betray Jesus.  Why was Judas so angry that the perfume was wasted on Jesus? 

John 12:4-6

4But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5“That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”6Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

We know money had gripped Judas’ heart and emotions long before he turned Jesus over to the leaders of the Jewish people.  His heart was already owned by finances and comfort and wealth.  He did not possess money, money possessed him. In fact Judas sold the Savior of the world for 30 pieces of silver. For Judas, money was the seed of betrayal in his life.  

If we are not careful, finances can quickly become a stranglehold in our own lives and pierce us through with many griefs!

Matthew paints a powerful choice for the life of a believer.  Will money grip your heart or will you control your finances?  You can choose to do good with what God has given you like the unnamed woman or you can choose to spend all of your wealth on yourself.

It’s a startling choice. Whose life will you follow? What will you choose – a beautiful broken bottle or 30 silver coins? Which will define your life?  

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:10)

I’m sure the apostle Paul had Judas in mind when writing to his young son in the faith.  These Scripture passages are just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.     

Your finances can be used for much good or become seeds of betrayal.

Don’t allow the pleasures of the world to lead you to 30 silver coins, rather, live life like a beautiful, broken bottle!   

Don’t allow money to possess you, instead possess money and use it to further God’s kingdom here on earth! 

Grain, Cross and Glory by Pastor David

Isaiah 6:1-10

Grain, Cross and Glory

Woven into the Apostle John’s narrative are three pieces of a puzzle that show how humanity is brought into right relationship with God.

The three puzzle pieces are comprised of a kernel of wheat, a cross and glory. A kernel of wheat which dies alone in the ground brings multiplication.  The cross of intentional sacrifice draws all to Jesus. Finally the glory of Jesus Christ either opens or blinds eyes. 

John 12:20-50

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground….

There is no multiplication unless something dies.  In fact in God’s economy abundance comes from death.  It’s a paradox. It doesn’t make sense in our economy but in the spiritual economy it makes absolute sense.   Jesus not only confirms that He will be like a seed planted in the ground, His disciples will follow him too.  Are you willing to be a grain of wheat planted into the ground?  What does that look like in your life? 

When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself…

Jesus knew where He was going.  He went with intention and for a purpose.  His reason was to draw people to himself. Without His sacrifice and without His shed blood there would be no Peace.  Humanity would forever be separated from God without his sacrifice.  He knew what was required and Scripture says, “for the JOY set before Him, He endured!”  He went to the cross intentionally, having every opportunity to avoid it, but He willingly laid down His life. What was the JOY?  You and me in restored relationship and intimate friendship. What a friend we have in Jesus! 

Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him….

It’s fascinating that John introduces the concept of glory in a passage marked with suffering and death.  The passage from Isaiah which John references is perhaps the most significant encounter an Old Testament prophet has with God Almighty.  Isaiah actually mentions that he “sees” the LORD.  For a Jew to say this would be outrageous, for even Moses could not look at God!  Yet, here in this passage Isaiah SEES God and he immediately recognizes his sin and God’s amazing glory.  John clarifies for us that Isaiah actually saw JESUS in his open vision.  

John 12:41 “Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. 

Isaiah saw Jesus as the Messiah. But when the Jewish leaders saw Jesus and all of His miraculous signs their eyes were closed. They refused to believe.  They didn’t see their sins and His glory they saw their own righteousness.  

John’s point is clear.  When you look at Jesus and all that He has done, are you convicted of your sin and recognize your need for a savior or are you blinded and convinced of your own ‘goodness’?

As we read through the last week in the life of Jesus, prayerfully reflect, worship and praise Him for His goodness toward us as he intentionally moves toward the cross for you and for me!