CHAPTER Mark 14 : 32-42 and Luke 22 :

CHAPTER
4

Gethsemane
( Matthew 26 : 36-46 ; Mark 14 : 32-42 and Luke 22 : 39-46 ) :

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Peter,
John and James :

After the Last Supper Jesus and His disciples retired to
the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus took with Him Peter, John and James and went a
little further into the garden. He told them to “stay here and keep watch” (
Mark 14 : 34 ). Then He went on alone a ittle further to pray. He was in
terrible anguish as He prayed : ” Father everything is possible for You. Take
this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.”  (Matthew 26 : 38 ). This indicated that Jesus
was in terrible distress because He knew the suffering and death that awaited
Him. When He returned He found Peter, John and James asleep. This happened
three times. What a dissapointment and sadness Jesus must have felt seeing that
His three closest disciples could not stay awake with Him when He needed them. 

It is so tragic that even today some believers are
spiritually asleep. How dissapointing it must be for Jesus that some of His
followers are spiritually asleep because if believers are spiritually asleep
they cannot function as effective members of the body ( church ) of Jesus
Christ. Why does it happen that some believers fall spiritually asleep ? In the
world of today it is so easy to get so caught up in our own lives and so easily
distracted by the things of this world that we forget to focus on Jesus. Believers
of today need to be spiritually awake and vigilant  because if we are not we become easy prey for
the attacks of Satan, his lies and evil schemes. If you are spiritually asleep
you will not be in a position to resist the temptations of this world and Satan.
Jesus need spiritually awake warriors to carry out the Great Commission : ”
Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them
to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to
the very end of the age” ( Matthew 28 : 18-20 ). The Great Commission wil be
discussed in more detail in chapter 8.

How then can we ensure that we stay spiritually awake and
vigilant so that we are able to fulfill this Great Commission Jesus has commanded
us to do ? Firstly we must follow the example that Jesus set through His life
on earth as described in the gospels. This example that Jesus set by His
lifestyle is the way to live a life pleasing to God. We need to hold on to,
study and understand the teachings of Jesus, obey them, apply them in our daily
lives and constantly seeking His will for our lives through constant and
earnest prayer . It is imperative for believers to have an active prayer life
because through an active prayer life we are communicating with our Saviour and
Redeemer, Jesus Christ. By communicating with God our Father through prayer we
can learn what His will for our lives is.In addition we must clothe ourselves
on a daily basis with the full armour of God ( Ephesians 6 : 10 -18 ) to
protect ourselves against the attacks of Satan. By being spiritually awake we
can resist Satan and all his attacks and prepare for the glorious return of our
eternal King, Jesus Christ to judge the world and take those of us that have
remained faithful to Him to heaven where the faithful will spend eternity in
His presence.

Jesus
:

Mark 14 : 34 reveals Jesus’ anxiety and anguish for the
suffering and death He was about to face (” My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow
to the point of death ” ). The gospel of Luke describes this anxiety and
anguish that Jesus felt  even more
vividly : “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was
like drops of blood falling to the ground.” ( Luke 22 : 44 ).This is a rare
medical condition that is known as hematohidrosis. This condition occurs when a
person experiences extraordinary stress and anxiety. Surrounding the sweat
glands is a network of tiny blood vessels which can rupture during times of extraordinary
stress and anxiety. The blood then mixes wth the sweat and appears as droplets consisting
of  blood and sweat. The question is why
did Jesus experience such extreme stress while He was praying in Gethsemane ?

The answer to this question is twofold. Jesus being God
knew what was going to happen to Him. Jesus was not only God but also human and
because of His humanity He knew that He was going to experience all the pain
and torture, to it’s full measure, that was about to be inflicted upon Him.
After His betrayal by Judas Iscariot and arrest He was going to be tried and
convicted by the Sanhedrin based on false testimonies brought against Him. He was
going to face the Roman authorities and although innocent Pilate, the Roman
governor, was going to hand Him over to be crucified. He was going to
experience the intense hurt of being denied by Peter ,one of His closest
disciples. The crowds that only days earlier hailed Him as Messiah was going to
demand His crucifixion. He was going to be ridiculed, beaten and spat upon. A
crown of thorns was going to be pressed upon His head and He was going to be flogged
by Roman soldiers  nearly to the point of
death. After all this He was going to be forced to carry His cross to Golgotha
where He would be crucified.

However, as I said before, I believe what caused Jesus
the most severe anguish and anxiety was that He knew that on the cross the
weight of the sins of the world would be laid upon Him. When that happenrd
Jesus cried out :”Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani ? My God, My God why have You
forsaken Me ?” ( Matthew 27 : 46 and Mark 15 : 34 ).  At that chilling point in history Jesus was
all alone, forsaken by man and by God. Because Jesus took the weight of the
sins of the world upon Him, God had to turn away from His Son because God, in
His nature being holy, cannot look upon sin. I believe that the spiritual agony
Jesus experienced at that moment far surpassed any physical pain and torture
that was inflicted upon Him.

Jesus experiencienced the physical pain, the toture and
ridicule, the death on the cross and the spiritual agony of temporary separation
from God when the weight of the world’s sins was laid upon Him because He loved
you and me so much that He did not want to abandon us to the slavery of sin but
rather, through the sacrifice of His life on the cross, free us forever from
the slavery of sin. This is a love that goes far beyond any human
comprehension.

Jesus
betrayed ( Matthew 26 : 47-56 “: Mark 14 : 43-52 : Luke 22 : 47-53 and John 18
:1-11 ) :

While Jesus was still in Gethsemane, Judas  Iscariot arrived with a crowd armed with
clubs and swords to arrest Jesus. The signal Judas had arranged with the crowd
with him was that Judas would kiss the one that they were to arrest. How ironic
that Judas used a sign of greeting to betray Jesus.

Jesus must have been deeply hurt and dissapointed that
Judas betrayed Him. Why was Jesus so hurt by Judas’ betrayal ? Judas was one of
the twelve that Jesus called to be His disciples. That meant that he was with
Jesus during His ministry, heard Jesus’ teachings and saw the miracles performed
by Jesus. Despite this and despite the fact that he was one of Jesus’ disciples
he still betrayed Jesus.  What must have
saddened Jesus greatly at His arrest was that His disciples deserted Him and
fled at the time that Jesus needed them to be with Him . What is our reaction when
faced with a situation where we have to make a stand for Jesus ? Do we boldly
make that stand for Jesus or do we desert Him like His disciples did so long
ago in the garden of Gethsemane because of the fear that we might be ridiculed,
persecuted, being ostracised from our place in society if we make a stand for
Jesus ? Where do you find yourself today on this matter ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

CHAPTER
5