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(August 30th, 2010; Robert Marino)
It was 10:00pm and all was quiet in my humble abode. I couldn't sleep; insomnia had set in and my mind was reeling. I decided to go out on a late night walk and get some fresh air. I headed on up a large hill that was in the middle of town. As I was approaching the crest of the hill I heard agonizing cries. I questioned within, “What could this be?” I cautiously made my way up to a big bush and hid behind its dense foliage to see what was going on. There I was able to see a man. An ordinary man or was he ordinary? He was crying out to God. Had this man just lost his wife or a child? Was this why he was in such anguish and pain? Had he murdered someone and was now having regrets of his dastardly deed? What was up with this poor soul?
As I began to listen in, I heard him cry, “I can't bear this. I don't want to do this. Isn't there another way? There has to be. I know this is why I came to this place but I think I'm changing my mind. This isn't worth it.” The man went for a quick walk down some path and came back. He knelt down on the cold damp ground again and started to cry out, “I don't want to do this. Isn't there another way?” With the moonlight shining on his face, I could see this pitiable soul begin to sweat profusely. My heart stopped beating a few times as I saw the mental-anguish this poor man was going through. I could literally feel his pain. If only I could help. This was truly painful to watch at this point. What did this man not want to go through? The man got up and walked down the little path again and came back shortly thereafter. Again, he fell to the ground as if an elephant had been laid on his shoulders but this time he was not only sweating profusely but he had begun to shake uncontrollably. He cried out again, “I can't do this. I don't want to do this. Isn't there some other way?” All of a sudden a bright light appeared and I heard a man's voice. The voice sounded like thunder yet the words were unquestionably decipherable. I heard, “Count the living and not the dead; do it for the few! Count the living and not the dead; do it for the few!” Immediately the light faded into the darkness. All of a sudden, the man had regained his composure and a noticeable resolve had come over his face. And then I heard him utter these words - “Not my will, but thine be done.” He got up and walked away down that narrow straight small path to never come back again.
After a few minutes and realizing he wasn't coming back, I came out from behind that bush and walked over to where he had been kneeling. Then I saw the unimaginable - a pool of blood. This blood had stained the very dirt this man had been kneeling on. This man was in such agony in his soul that he had been sweating drops of blood. Who was this man and what was this all about?
I will tell you who this man was. This man was Jesus the Messiah who would soon pay the penalty that was due for the sins of man. I'm not even going to go bring you to the cross. Christ's blood is saying, “I love you” before He even went to the cross. Here we are in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus now has to deal with the very thing He originally came to do - to die for man's sins to make payment for the penalty of man's sins (Romans 6:23). He was now being hit with the pressure, the torture, and the temptation to back away from the call on His life. But He did not become weary in well-doing but ran the race that was set before Him. This next section is about almost everything that happened up to crucifixion.
Mat 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Mat 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Mat 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Mat 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Mat 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Mat 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mat 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Jesus was a rabbi and He knew what the scriptures said that He would have to go through and the very reason as to why He came to earth in the first place. Jesus knew His closest friends were all going to abandon Him in the next few hours. Jesus knew He was about to go through the most humiliating trial even though He knew that He was innocent. Jesus knew that He was about to have to go through the most agonizing death a man would ever have to endure - the soon coming whipping post, the death of the cross but even more so - the wrath of the Father would be poured out on Him. The weight and the guilt of all of mankind's sins from the past, present, and future were about to hard-pressed upon Him. He also knew that most would never come to repentance and would reject His sacrifice.
This will sound sacrilegious to some but it sure sounds like He was having second thoughts here. “Come on Father, there must be another way. Let this cup pass from me. Let's do this another way. There just has to be another way.” Now He had to submit His will over to the Father. He was not just the Son of God but also the Son of Man. He was tempted in every way that we have been tempted. Yes, Jesus was already bearing His cross before going to the cross.
Mat 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Guys, I have been there for you and I can really use your prayers and encouragement right now.
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Jesus had a flesh too. That's what God-Incarnate means - “God in the flesh”. That's what the Greek word “carna” means and where we get our word carnivorous for “flesh-eater” or “meat-eater”. And His flesh was crying out people. Don't think this was an easy thing for Him to go through with. He was about to be butchered like a piece of hamburger meat at the whipping post with all of his bones showing, and then nailed to a cross and that wasn't the worst of it because He would soon BECOME sin that knew no sin.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Do you see the importance of prayer in the morning and throughout the day? It gives us strength and enables us to take up our cross and do the Father's will even when we don't feel like it. If He needed it, do you think we don't need it much more?
Mat 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Wow! Total obedience. I can't imagine going through even 1/100th of what He was about to go through and to stay obedient but knowing what He went through and that He still chose to do the Father's will for our sakes gives me the desire to be obedient.
Mat 26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
Mat 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
This was some serious stuff. We really can't comprehend what He really went through. If we did, we would live differently in word, thought, and deed.
Mat 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
Jesus knew they were coming to get Him. He could have easily escaped but He knew it was His hour (time) to fulfill what He was called to do.
Mat 26:47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Mat 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
Mat 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
Mat 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Betrayed with a kiss by a close friend who walked with you every day for the last 3 to 3 ½ years. Imagine being betrayed by your closest friend. Maybe your best friend stole your girlfriend or boyfriend or robbed you or something else that would seem unthinkable. Now think of Jesus, He knew Judas was already out there betraying Him yet He still called Him friend. Jesus still loved him and probably hurt for Judas inside knowing that he would be going to Hell. Have you taken up your cross yet? Have you forgiven that one that hurt you? Yes, that is part of taking up your cross. You are to forgive that one that hurt you so badly.
Mat 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
Mat 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
This may seem disturbing to some theologians out there but here is my take on this. Jesus could still back out of going to the cross at this time. Why would He make such a comment if it were not His choice still? But you know what, He still chose to go to the cross for YOU and for ME. Do you take that lightly? If this isn't enough for you to LIVE for Him now, I don't think anything will ever motivate you into obedience.
Mat 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Do you think He just wanted to be able to say, “Look what I accomplished; I fulfilled the prophecies that were written of me.” No, He realized that it was the only way man could ever be redeemed back to the Father.
Mat 26:55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
Mat 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Forsaken by your friends and soon to be forsaken by God and all the while you are totally innocent and everything you did in life was for others.
Mat 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Caiaphas was about to lose his job after Jesus was sacrificed. I know he still had a job after the crucifixion but the Father no longer recognized it and much of the children of Israel were outside of God's will for the next 38 years until the Romans tore down the temple in A.D. 70. I say much of the children of Israel were outside of God's will because the majority of the spiritual leadership in Israel consisting of the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, scribes and the like were blind to the fact that Jesus was the true Messiah and the blind will lead the blind and they will both end up in the ditch. Since the spiritual leadership of Israel rejected the `LIGHT' that they were given, they were left with darkness and those who would continue to follow them would be led off into darkness. There is a sermon in itself and a very good metaphor of what is going on today within our American church buildings. I say church buildings instead of THE CHURCH or THE BRIDE because the bride really is beautiful but only certain ones within these CHURCH BUILDINGS are truly saved and part of the bride and eager to see their bridegroom come.
Mat 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
Mat 26:60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
Mat 26:61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
Mat 26:62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
Mat 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Mat 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mat 26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
Mat 26:66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Wrongfully accused of blasphemy.
Mat 26:67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
Mat 26:68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Mocked and laughed at.
Mat 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
Mat 26:70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
Mat 26:71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
Mat 26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
Mat 26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Mat 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
My intention here is not to go all the way to the cross when the Father poured out His wrath upon His only Son but I wanted to show you how much Jesus really loved us when He didn't have to and He went through everything even though He wanted out.
You can also read Mark 14:26-72, Luke 22:39-71 and John
18:1 thru John 19:6 for a little further study. Some of these other gospels have some added details that are not in Matthew. I will point out a few that I feel are of interest to this article.
Luk 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
This gospel is the only one that has the angel appearing to Him. In Hebrews it says this -
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I believe the Father sent the angel to Him and the joy that was set before Him was that He was shown the ones who would be made righteous because of his sacrifice and this enabled Him to go to the cross and endure the punishment that we so deserved.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Here Jesus is shedding blood before even getting to the cross. Have you agonized in prayer to the point of sweating great drops of blood? That is love people. Don't think that just because Jesus was God in the flesh that this was a “NO BIG DEAL” experience that He was about to go through. I think it was at this point that He had to focus on the few that would truly be saved.
Luk 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Luk 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Luk 22:47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
Luk 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
Luk 22:49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
Luk 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
Luk 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
We have an ear-popping-on Jesus. He was still thinking of others during His betrayal and arrest.
Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
Joh 18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
Joh 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Joh 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
Joh 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
Joh 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Do you still think that Jesus could not have called down those legions of angels and destroyed these people, and easily escaped? At creation, His very words STILL hold the Universe together and here His words literally knocked down this whole motley crew to the ground. They had to be quaking in their boots (or sandals) but Jesus still willingly went quiet as a lamb to the slaughter to fulfill the call of God on His life and to show His love for the human race. Yes, He bled before going to the cross.
I have to ask you this. “HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HIM?” Do you love Him enough to follow Him with your WHOLE heart? How can anyone hold onto their sin knowing that Christ didn't have to die for them? Do you love your sin so much to condemn yourself to an eternity in Hell because Christ dying for you is treated as something insignificant? Was what He did for you enough for you to obey the Great Commission?
Wow! I love you Jesus. Thank You Lord for what You did for me!
Another name for this article could have been -
Blood, Sweat and Tears but I chose Crimson Tide.
A crimson tide refers to a marine biological phenomenon where the waters become red because there is an overabundance of certain types of algae that can deplete oxygen levels and or release toxins in the oceans. This phenomenon causes the water to turn reddish in color and this can kill everything in its path. Likewise, sin is like this algae; sin brought death into the world and death upon the whole human race.
One blessed problem though, Jesus BECAME sin for us and turned the tide for mankind by shedding His innocent blood in payment for our sins. The tide was turned and Jesus reversed the curse through His crimson blood that He so freely poured out for all of us wicked sinners. If you have never saw yourself as a wicked sinner, you still do not know HOW MUCH God hates sin even in the slightest amount, nor HOW BIG OF A PRICE Jesus had to pay to make it possible for us to be in right relationship with Father God again. Until you see that, you will never truly understand grace and for the most part probably will not serve Him with your whole heart.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope that you pass it on to those on your email list and those you correspond to on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and so on. I would also appreciate it if you can let me know if you do pass on The Sacred Cowtipper articles to others and how many. This would encourage me a little bit. Yes, the Flying Spaghetti Monster needs encouragement too.
If you have any comments, I am listening and I would love to read them.
Also, our evangelism group has been extending itself to you to teach your people how to evangelize Biblically and I haven't had any takers yet. We have hundreds upon hundreds of hours of experience on the streets witnessing for Christ and on studying out the whole subject. I hope the ZERO-response isn't because evangelism is a very low, low priority to most ministers in America. Maybe I am wasting my time. I'm not even asking for a love offering. We'll do it for free. We won't even use extortion that you see prevalent on some Christian TV stations where they tell you "if you send $80 right now, God will save your family." We will do it for free. Not that the ox that treads out the grain isn't worth feeding but that is how bad we want to change all the wrong things that are being done in the Name of Christ - free people -we'll do it for free.
I heard a seeker-friendly sermon that totally left out repentance this last Sunday and chastised anyone who preached anything like John the Baptist as to why the world isn't coming to Christ. It was false doctrine. The gospel isn't about that "we have something better and the world should want it." Tell that to a happy rich person who has everything and see how far you get with them to repent and believe the gospel. That doesn't even make common sense much less Biblical sense. The gospel is about what the world already has (sin, and a sin-nature) and that it is going to send them to an eternal place called Hell if they don't repent and believe the gospel. The Holy Spirit cannot convict when God's Word is preached dishonestly or in ignorance. How very sad is that. The Bible never ever tells us to stoop down to the world's level in order to reach them. We cannot leave out "the righteousness of God" in our message and think we are doing them justice.
This minister was very ignorant of Biblical evangelism although I heard many say what a great message it was on my way out. Many talk of the Romans Road but they don't know what it is. Read chapter one. The "righteousness of God" must first be revealed and the world doesn't have a clue about the righteousness of God and yet we tell them if you come to Jesus you can have what we have. What did Jesus say we would have IF, and that's a big if, if we are true follower? He said we would have persecutions, trials, and tribulations.
Anyhow, God is raising up an army behind the scenes in this country and He will be using those you will least likely expect Him to use - many of which have been rejected by the church for the last 10 to 30 years already.
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