Friday, January 20, 2012

Gardens of Scripture (Part 2)

2. THE GARDEN OF REJECTION (GETHSEMANE) We read in John 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”. From other scriptures, such as, (Matthew 26:36) we know that this garden was called “Gethsemane”. Notice that it says, Jesus went forth”. He went forth knowing full well that before Him was suffering and death. Into this “Garden of Rejection” Jesus went forth;

· Jesus went forth – to Anticipation.  For the Savior, this garden was the place of His anticipation of Calvary and the cross.  We can never fully understand what it would mean for Him, the holy One of God, to bear our sins in His own body on the tree.

· Jesus went forth – to Agony. It says in, (Luke 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”.  We read in, (Matthew 26:37) “He began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (It speaks of His distress of mind and of His deep depression as He contemplated taking our heavy burden of sin upon Himself.)

                      O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head 
                      Our load was laid on thee; 
                      Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
                      Bearest all my ill for me. 
                      A victim led, Thy blood was shed; 
                     Now there’, no load for me.

Matthew 26:37 says, “(Jesus) began to be sorrowful and very heavy”.  It speaks of His deep grief.  The grief associated with the contradiction of sinners against Him, the cruelty He would endure, and the curse He would bear.

· Jesus went forth – to Arrest.  It says concerning the Lord Jesus, (Isaiah 53:3) “He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. It says also, in, John 1:11 “he came unto His own, and His own received Him not”.  When the Lord Jesus was betrayed with a kiss from Judas, it says in, (Matthew 26:47, 50) “Judas came and with him a great multitude with swords and staves.  They … laid hands on Jesus and took Him”.  Here, in this garden, is the climax of the Saviors rejection that He experienced throughout His three years of public ministry.

· Jesus went forth – to Abandonment.  It says in, (Matthew 26:56) “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled”.  Jesus was left  alone to accomplish the work of redemption on the cross.  It was a work that only He could do.  “There is none other good enough to pay the price of sin.  He only could unlock the gates of Heaven and let us in”.  No animal sacrifice, no one among mankind, no angel of God could redeem sinful man back to God.  Only the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ could do this great work.

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