“And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 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. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 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. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
“‘…so many are in darkness, with great exuberance, Lord, our hearts are filled with joy, Lord, and zeal. Lord, we look at the world and all the signs of your coming surround us. And Father we pray for mercy, Lord, for our leaders. We pray for wisdom and conviction, Lord we pray that truth and righteousness would prevail, and Lord, that you would be gracious. We pray Lord for all of those that are being broken and exposed, Lord, in whatever realm and whatever way that is, that you might bring conviction and repentance and salvation, and Lord, that we might behold, Lord, your hand in all of this. We trust you, Lord. We know that you spread out the very heavens with the span of your hand, that the earth is nothing but a drop in the bucket before you Lord. [Comment: they just discovered a supercluster of stars over 4 billion light-years across recently in 2012!] So we just stand back in amazement, watching what you’re doing Lord, and are amazed that Lord you condescended all the way down to our sinful lives and you saved us, and called us your sons and daughters. Lord we pray that as we continue our study in Luke, that you’d be with us, we pray Father, in Jesus name, amen.’
You know, I’m excited, as I watch the news, we’re in Luke 22. I hope you realize it is exciting to hear in mainstream media, words like sin, repentance, confession, forgiveness, to hear the Southern Baptist Church talking about disciplining the president as a member of their church. You know, you have to understand, we pray all the time that the Lord would bring conviction, that he would bring sanity. And all of a sudden, here it is. You know, I hope any human being in this room that is in sexual sin, I hope you’re under conviction, I hope you see the fruit of it, and the sadness of it, and the destruction of it. [Comment: Bill Clinton was President of the United States from January 1993 to January 2001, which period of time this sermon was given in.] And I hope you remember to pray for their daughter, what she’s going to live with for the rest of her life. But I see God’s hand, and I’m excited, I’m not bummed out. I think this is, you know, America being placed on the balances, on the scales, held before every American are those words “sin”. Well what is sin? Is it right to have extra-marital affairs or isn’t it? What is sex and what isn’t sex? And what is confession, and when does confession matter, and you know, we really want to see it be real, we want to see tears, we want it to be in the heart. Well, why should there be confession, and why should there be sin unless there’s a God on a throne? Somebody’s not asking the Big Questions. And confession, forgiveness, what an incredible thing, for the whole nation to sit back and hear what’s going on, couched in all of these terms. It is very healthy. And maybe America’s on trial, maybe it’s not the President. And I just watch, and I think if you know, it says that ‘The LORD sits on his throne in the heavens, and the heathen rage, and they say of the LORD, Let us cast his cords asunder, let us break his bands, let’s break off the yoke of absolutes, of a God whose sovereign, who decrees for mankind what is evil and what is good. Let’s cast away those restraints. And it says the LORD holds them in derision.’ He sits on his throne in the heavens and he laughs, because he’s already chosen his King, Jesus, to seat him on his holy hill in Zion, to rule the earth with a rod of iron. ‘Kiss the Son while there’s time,’ it says, fall down before him while there’s opportunity. The last study on the West Coast we had opportunity to share with the pastors the study out of Exodus chapter 4, where God says to Moses, ‘Moses, what’s in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod.’ And just to encourage them, that in the face of impossibilities, and that’s what Israel faced, faced impossibilities, they were in bondage as a nation. And how we’re in bondage, again, just thinking of the purest heroine in the country here in Philadelphia [80 percent pure], those we’ve seen in our own church in the last two months die of overdose, that have gotten saved, and right afterwards [before they had a chance to be drawn out of their habits] dead. To think of the babies being thrown into the river in Egypt, and the 34,000,000 abortions in the last 23 years here in America [the figure is up to 65,000,000 now]. To think of the violence and the task masters. And yet God was not restricted in any single way. God brought Egypt to its knees with a stick [i.e. the rod of Moses], turned the rivers to blood, raised up the dust of the earth as lice, parted the Red Sea. God was not moved, God was not frightened, God was not restricted, and God is not restricted now, and could bring this whole nation to its knees with a stick if he wanted to. He’s on the throne. And I’m watching what’s going on, and I’m thinking ‘Lord, you’re fast at work, how healthy, how healthy for a nation to have all of these issues brought before their hearts, to weigh them out, to think ‘Have we become insane? Have we endorsed perverseness? Can we let our six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven-year-old children watch the news, or do we have to wait till they go to bed to turn it on?’ Remarkable [Comment: It is far worse now in 2013, and yet like the frog in the pan of water on the stove, with the heat slowly increasing, America has become used to the rising temperature of sin, violence and perverseness, with almost no conscience at all.] And that’s only a little bit of what’s going on. You see the economies of the world shaking [and he said that before the economic crash of 2008 which we have yet to pull out of, both here and in Europe]. We see Islam more convinced than ever I’m sure now that America is the Great Satan. Terrorists looking for their opportunity. [And this was said before 9/11, the first and second Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan.] Y2K around the bend [which amounted to nothing]. Jesus Christ is coming. That’s what’s happening. And I hope we’re aware of that. We’re in Luke, aren’t we?
The Disciples ‘Times Are Going To Be Different’
Let’s read down from verse 31, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”---He had sent them out, the twelve, and then the seventy to preach the Kingdom, before he came to certain cities and towns, and sent them without money, sent them without extra coats, said in whatever house you come, abide there, let your peace abide on that place. ‘Did you lack anything when that happened?’ They said ‘No.’ ---“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.” Now, by the way, at least Peter got brain-lock there in verse 36 [about buying a sword]. “For the things concerning me have an end”, a fulfillment. “And they said, Lord, behold here are two swords.” Now we know, one of “they” has to be Peter, because he’s gonna chop somebody’s ear off. “And they said, Lord, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.” Listen to what they are excited about, the two swords. The Lord says ‘Look, times are gonna be different. It’s going to be more difficult. The things that are written of me will be fulfilled, I’m going to be reckoned among transgressors. When I sent you out before, I was alive, I was on the scene, there was no difficulty. Now, have an extra coat, have your money. If you don’t have a sword,’ this is the Roman short-sword ‘buy one.’ Peter, right there, lost track of what Jesus was saying, and he started looking for a sword, and then says ‘Lord, here, we got two of them.’ Jesus says, ‘That’s enough.’ Now, by the way, this is not an endorsement for civil disobedience. There is a way for a Christian to behave himself within the law, within the powers that be. They [the powers that be, our political rulers] are ordained of God, the Scripture says that. There are things that go on in this nation that you and I don’t agree with, but they are not forcing us to do them. If they come to us, and tell us we must deny Christ, then it’s time to say “No.” Paul wrote to us, that we should obey the rulers that God has ordained. And yet he went to prison for preaching Christ. Peter, the same thing. But it isn’t an endorsement of some of the violence that we see, in the name of Christ. [Or an endorsement to arm yourself to the teeth in self-defense. Who do we trust, anyway, for our ultimate protection and salvation?] 1st Corinthians 9:5, Paul says, ‘Don’t we have the right to take a wife to us as we journey, as Peter does?’ So, Peter would be in the situation, as an evangelist traveling through parts of the Roman world that were known for bandits, robbers and thieves. And no doubt at that point in time, a short-sword was necessary. If you’re traveling with your wife and your children you have a Godly responsibility to protect them, God-given. But don’t let yourself get brain-locked like Peter did, and say ‘I’m going to go home and get two of those tonight.’
Pray For ‘Blanket Victory’
“And he came out,” and I love the King James, “and went, as he was wont,”---I like, it talks about David’s men, ‘that they went as they were wont to hunt.’ Here it says “and he went, as he was wont,” that means ‘to the place he was used to going to.’ “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.” (verse 39) John chapter 18, verses 1 and 2 says it was the place they were familiar with, it was a place that Judas knew, Gethsemane. “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” (verse 40) Now, Matthew tells us that he leaves eight of them, and he takes Peter, James and John with him. And then he says to them ‘I’m very sorrowful, my heart is heavy. Watch with me.’ Remarkable, the Creator, the Lord of the universe saying to these men ‘Watch with me’, actually making an appeal for their company, for the strength of their presence. Remarkable. And then it says he went about a stone’s throw. Here it says he knelt down. Mark says he fell down. And Matthew says he fell onto his face. So evidently what he did is he fell onto his knees, and then onto his face. It’s a full moon because it’s Passover [always is on Passover night]. We’re told in Hebrews that he was heard in Gethsemane because he appealed to the Father with strong crying and tears, in that he feared.’ It’s important for us to understand some of, we’ll never understand all, the pathos, and I think divine emotion that’s involved in this scene. There’s something that begins to go on here between the Father and the Son that is being worked out in time, that had been set in motion before the worlds were formed. And now all of a sudden it’s manifesting in time. And the Son is coming under the burden of a very great reality, something that he will bear alone, in a way that he has never borne something alone from eternity. Mark tells us, no doubt hearing from Peter, that he cried ‘Abba’, again, not just Father, but ‘Abba’, the word of familiarity, ‘Dad.’ When you’re in Israel you hear the toddlers saying to their fathers ‘Abba, Abba, Abba’, it’s Daddy. It’s the warmest, most familiar term, Dad, incredible. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Great prayer. If you know yourself I’m sure it’s already a regular part of your prayer-life. It is of mine, ‘Oh Lord, please, Lord, keep me from this, keep me from that, I do so many stupid things.’ I’m glad, when I see Peter lop off somebody’s ear, that I see Jesus straighten it out. I’ve never lopped off an ear in the physical. I’ve lopped off a few [i.e. verbally], I’ve done enough stupid things that I’m thankful that he’s there, to cover me. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” And it’s not the normal word for “temptation”, it means “To compromise morally.” And it’s applied to different things, it’s applied to covetousness, hypocrisy, of lovelessness, of fear, of worry. If you’re prone to those things, fear, worry, covetousness, hypocrisy, moral compromise, Jesus is saying here “Pray, that you enter not into it,” that you have, if you avail yourself of it, a lifeline, paid for in the blood of Christ, to the Father. And it says ‘If we pray anything according to his will, we know we have the petitions that we ask.’ And the Bible will stand when heaven and earth [the first heaven and the first earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-2] passes away. And it says to us if we go to the Father and we ask of him that we might not fall into temptation, that we will be praying according to his will, and we might have the petitions that we ask. But of course we’re much like the apostles, sleeping when we’re supposed to be praying. I know you understand that. Again I heard Allen Redpath say that he asked God for blanket victory. That isn’t covering everything, that means when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, he could get out from under the blanket. He called that blanket victory.
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,”---kneeled down, and then fell on his face---“saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (verses 41-42) Now, Matthew will be the one that tells us that he goes three times and prays this. As we study the collective account of Gethsemane, evidently this goes on for hours through the night. This is not a fast prayer. Jesus goes and he prays, he weeps, he cries ‘Abba, Father,’ he’s in great sorrow and heaviness. You have to understand that. Because again, as we watch him through the Gospels, there is no strain on his behalf, when he says to the wind and the sea, ‘Be still.’ There’s no sweat or strain. There’s no strain on his behalf when he raises the dead, or when he feeds the multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, there is no sweat or strain. But in this scene, there is weeping, there is sweating, there is crying, there is weakness. Three times he goes to the Father. Matthew says he prays, ‘If there’s any other way.’ Here he says ‘If it’s your will, remove this, the cup.’ Now, he prayed three times [for over an hour each time]. Does that mean he lacked faith? I think it’s important for you to ask that question, because there’s people like Copland, Hagen, there’s people who teach that if you pray for something more than once, you lack faith. Well if lacking faith is being like Jesus, count me in. Paul sought the Lord three times with fasting and prayer, the Bible says, about a thorn in his flesh. Not a lack of faith. Jesus, a lack of faith? When Jesus says “Ask, and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”, it is all in the tenses that say ‘Ask, and continue to ask, and it will continually be given. Seek, and continue to seek, and you will continue to find. Knock, and continually and reverently knock, remember whose door it is, and it will be opened unto you.’ Interesting. Jesus, three times, wrestling, struggling. Interesting, it tells us here “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (verses 43-44) Now the interesting thing is here, is the angel strengthened him before that. It doesn’t say that he went into this state, the medical community calls it hemotydrosis, and actually a human being, when they’re under enough stress, so much stress, it’s very rare, that the capillaries in their sweat glands can begin to burst. And when they burst, blood runs out with the sweat. It doesn’t say ‘Jesus was agonizing and sweating blood, and the angel came and strengthened him.’ No, the angel came and strengthened him so that he could agonize. He was agonizing afterwards. And he was agonizing because he is begging his Father. Imagine my son saying to me “Dad, Dad, the most horrible thing that’s ever happened in the universe is about to happen to me, the most painful awesome eternal, disgraceful, shameful thing that has ever happened, is about to happen to me. Dad, you have power Dad, you could stop it. You could speak the word, Dad, and you could turn it away.” And heaven is silent. What did it cost the Father, what would it cost me? What did it cost the Father to be silent at that time? When twelve legions, that’s 72,000 angels could come at Christ’s bidding, and the Father’s holding them back. [Comment: God used one holy angel to protect Jerusalem and Hezekiah against half of Sennacherib’s army which was encamped around Jerusalem. This encamped army was composed of 185,000 hardened Assyrian soldiers. That one angel killed those 185,000 soldiers in one night.] One angel goes to strengthen him so that he can continue to agonize, not that that load can be taken away. And heaven itself is silent. ‘Father, let this cup pass, if there’s any way.’ “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow.” (verses 44-45) Important, the Holy Spirit understands, “sleeping for sorrow.” You know what it’s like sometimes to be so worn, and so stressed, that you can just fall asleep, and especially when it’s emotional strain. And it goes on, here they’re sleeping for sorrow. I think the Lord is gracious to tell us that. “And [he] said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” (verse 47) They had heard him teach ‘Men ought to always to pray and not to faint.’ You’d think if you had Jesus to teach your Bible studies your life would be different. “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Now, again, there is a process that takes place here as we look at this, that goes on evidently for a number of hours. When it says that he is very sorrowful and heavy, the interesting phrase in the Greek in Matthew and Mark is “he was away from home.” “He began to feel heavy and sorrowful,” the Greek phrase is “He began to feel away from home.” Well he was in Jerusalem. That wasn’t his home. His Kingdom was of another world. And he began to feel exceedingly sorrowful, the weight of that “away from home” sickness we say, the idea is there was a sense of separation that started to come upon him, that he couldn’t endure.
There Was No
Other Way For Christ---And There Is No Other Way For Us But Through Christ
And yet he was praying ‘Father, if there’s any other way.’ If there’s any other way for what? ‘If there’s any other way for this cup to be put away, if there’s any other way for man to be saved, besides me going to the cross, Father if there’s any other way.’ And you know what, and people say, ‘Hey, there’s lots of ways.’ Not in Gethsemane there wasn’t. You’re not going to get into the Kingdom of heaven by going to mass, or by attending Calvary Chapel, you’re not going to get to heaven by building orphanages or doing good things. You’re not going to go to heaven by installing stained glass windows in the church. There’s no other way. There was no other way for you to get to heaven [or into the kingdom of heaven, which by the way, is coming to earth at the 2nd coming of Christ, and thereafterwards, cf. Revelation 21:1-23], but for Jesus to take your penalty, no other way. And you see, that’s offensive. Rich people would rather ride on English racers from house to house in suits and give out books. People would rather do something to prove that they’re good. And some people say, ‘Hey, you know, I’m sinning, it doesn’t hurt anyone. It doesn’t hurt anyone else.’ Really? I see Jesus sweating great drops of blood, crying out to his Father, in agony. I think your sin hurt somebody. And you know what? If you’re a Christian this evening, and you’re living in compromise, in sin right now, he knew that when he saved you. I don’t think you’re lost. Jesus said, in John 17:9, “Father, I pray not for the world, but for those that you’ve given me, out of the world.” ‘He ever liveth and maketh intercession for the saints at the right hand of the Father.’ But don’t think that your sin doesn’t cause pain. You need to go to Gethsemane. And you need to ask yourself ‘What garden am I in?’ Eden or Gethsemane? Am I listening to the devil, and setting aside the Word of God? Am I listening to the voice that says ‘You’ll not surely die, there’s no consequences for sin’? Sin tastes good, pleasant to the eye, you’re mind is open, you’re wiser [wrong kind of wisdom though, the kind that leads to destruction and death]. Or, are you saying “Father, take me to Gethsemane, where I can pray ‘not my will, yours be done.’ Christ is in my heart, Christ desires to live through me, Father, I lay down my will. I rejoice to do thy will. I don’t want to be, Lord, a Christian who honors you with my lips but my heart is far away.’ And the remarkable thing is, to me, as I look at it, the cup that he drank covered it all, covered our frailty, covered our compromises. I compromise sometimes. For five minutes at a time. I don’t stay there. But I might go there in a traffic jam for a minute. And that was part of his pain. I can get angry and say something I shouldn’t, I can [verbally] chop an ear off. And that was part of his pain. And I’m a contributor to his tears, and to his sorrow, to his weeping. But he would say, ‘It is finished, paid in full.’
What Was “the
‘If there’s any other way, Father, let this cup pass.’ Interesting, what was the “cup”? What was going on here? Away from home, no other way for this to happen. Crying out. The Bible says “He who knew no sin, became sin, that we might be the righteousness of God.” The Bible says “All of our righteousness is as filthy rags.” And that’s what he took upon himself. You see, he bore the sin of the world. It wasn’t just what he was facing physically. Because he had told his disciples on and on up to this point, ‘They’re going to take me, they’re going to beat me, they’re going to scourge me, they’re going to crucify me.’ And in all of those explanations, he wasn’t sweating blood. Physical pain has nothing to do with what he feared, I believe. There was shame in the spitting, no doubt. Isaiah chapter 50 tells us they ripped his beard out of his face, and they spit in his face. Isaiah 52, the last two verses, tell us that when they beat him, because there was a bag over his head, and I boxed for awhile, and the punch that knocks you out is the one you don’t see coming, because you can’t bob, you can’t weave, you can’t duck. Imagine being beaten by Roman soldiers with a bag over your head. It says “his visage was more marred than that of any man.” He was unrecognizable as a human being. Taken to Annas, to Caiaphas, back to Annas, to Pilate, to Herod Antipas, back to Pilate again, scourged. I don’t think he was sweating blood over the scourging, and yet I believe it took his flesh down to the bones. Mocked, they played a game called “kill the king” with him, where they put an old Roman robe and a crown of thorns upon his head and mocked him and beat him with a stick. I don’t think that he was sweating blood over that. They led him away to Golgotha, he was too weakened from the physical beating even to carry the cross. Simon of Cyrene had to carry it. But as he would carry the cross-beam, they would tie that to his arms, the post was in place [upon Golgotha], and Roman custom was, they would put a rope around your ankle, and from time to time they would pull your feet out from under you, and you would fall on your face because your hands were tied to the beam [the beam being tied over the back of your shoulders]. He was so weakened that Simon had to carry it the rest of the way. Crucified, stripped naked, hung before the world, in agony. I don’t think that’s what made him sweat blood. I think what made him sweat blood, what made him feel “away from home,” that’s important, what began to give him that sense of separation, was that he would drink a cup, because in some divine mystery, the sin of the world would be placed upon him. That is, all of my sin [and all of every human being’s sin, who ever lived, and who would ever live]. The Romans didn’t send him to the cross, and the Jews didn’t send him to there, I did. Every lustful thought I’ve ever had, every fist fight, every bit of drunkenness---I’m talking about my old life, in case you’re new here, I don’t want you to worry [laughter]. This is before I was saved in 1972. But my point is, all of my present strugglings and all, and all of your sin, don’t just laugh at me. All of the sin of President Clinton, all of the sin of the 34,000,000 abortions [now over 65,000,000] that we’ve seen in the last 23 years, all of the sin of Adolf Hitler and of Adolf Eichmann, and of every serial murderer and child pornographer---the sin of the world would come upon him. Imagine me, standing in a position, watching my son, who I love, brutalized, and having all of the power in the universe to stop it at any moment, and restraining myself. Try to imagine the cost to God the Father’s heart, to the heart of his Son, willing to go and to be separated from the Father to bear our sin. Imagine someone telling me, as my son is being crucified, brutalized, it’s because your son is a child pornographer, because he’s filthy, because he’s a murderer, and a liar, and a thief. What restraint I would have to use would be unimaginable. But then, the unthinkable, to me. “God is the judge, he putteth down one, he setteth up another, for in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red, it is full of mixture. He poureth out the same, and the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and shall drink them.” Again, “Awake, awake, stand up O Jerusalem which hath drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury. Thou hast drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.” Again, Jeremiah, “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me, Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to come. I send thee to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the word that I will send among them. And I took the cup at the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to drink unto whom the LORD sent me. It shall be if they refuse to take the cup at thy hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, thus saith the LORD of hosts, you shall certainly drink.” Again, in Revelation 14:9-11, “And the third angel followed them saying with a loud voice If anyone worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and forever. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” You see, the unthinkable thing, and the Bible says in the ages to come we’ll still be learning of his mercy, but the unthinkable thing, and the reason he began to sweat blood over this “cup”, the reason he began to feel “far from home”, a sense of great separation, is because the sin of the world would come upon him. And because of the sin of the world coming upon him, he would cry out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”, maybe the most amazing word in the New Testament, coming from the lips of Jesus, “why?” He’s asking a question, he is without information at that moment. And not only that, the question is, “why hast thou forsaken me?” You have to understand, as we have watched him in his earthly ministry, he said ‘I don’t say anything unless the Father says it’, always in contact. ‘I don’t do anything unless the Father does it [in me]…I and the Father are one, if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.’ He will pray at the tomb of Lazarus, ‘Father, I know that you don’t need me to pray, because you already hear what’s in my heart before I even ask, but I pray for those that are standing here, for their benefit.’ Jesus affirmed all the way through the Gospels that he and the Father were one, they always were in communion, that anything he said was coming from the mouth of the Father, anything he did was the action of the Father. Now all of a sudden we’re going to hear him cry “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And for the first time in eternity, and who can understand. [Comment: Jesus had never sinned in his entire life. In one of the Prophets it says that sin separates man from God, and that God will not hear one who is sinning. When Jesus “took the cup”, had the sin of the world placed upon himself, took it on so that he could pay the price for the sin of the world, that sin of the world separated Jesus Christ from God the Father for the first time in all of eternity.] He’s cut off, and he’s crying “Why hast thou forsaken me?” so that you and I never have to say it. And he is off into outer darkness, where the fire is not quenched, where the worm dieth not. He is drinking a cup that is in the right hand of his own Father. It would be unimaginable for me to put the sin of the world on my son, but then to hear him cry ‘Dad, why are you letting me slip into hell? Dad, why are you pouring out all of your anger and wrath upon me? Dad, you know I didn’t do any of this, you know I’m innocent, you have all power, you can stop this in an instant.’ The unimaginable thing is the cost between the Father and the Son, of God Almighty pouring out eternal wrath on his Son. 1st John chapter 4, verses 9 and 10 says, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Propitiation is the place where wrath is satisfied. It says, “We love him because he first loved us.” (verse 19) It is, in one sense, the unimaginable, they say that Luther fell into a trance looking at “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” You know, if he had a stroke, and after hours he finally stood up, and he said “God, forsaken of God, who could ever understand this?” In some divine mystery, there is an agony that is holy ground, that maybe we will never enter into fully, that destroyed in some way that’s unimaginable, a divine love that had existed for eternity, and broke the communion between a father and a son. And Jesus offering himself in our place, then being cast into eternal darkness in those three hours. How, I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t understand. I believe, but I don’t understand. And he did it because he loved us, he did it because in that action, ‘God now, as Paul says, can both be just and the justifier of the ungodly.’ In some great mystery, the payment of his price was so great that it covers the sin of the world. How remarkable. I’m so thankful to see these words. When you think of the price that was paid, in the newspapers, sin, what is it? I hope our whole nation is thinking about it, we should pray that there is going to be a great open door now. [He’s talking about the potential of a revival occurring then, but it never happened on a national scale after President Clinton’s episode of immorality getting publicized.] What is sin? It isn’t sin against the State is it, it isn’t sin against the Constitution. Or is it sin against God? What is confession? Is it just for us, for television viewers? What is repentance? What is morality? Isn’t it interesting? Matthew tells us, when he came the third time, he looked at them, they were asleep again, and instead of waking them up, he said ‘Sleep on now,’ and then there’s a semi-colon ( ; ), which means an undistinguished period of time. I believe that he looked down, then, and said ‘Father, Peter, when that cock crows, he’s almost going to have a heart attack, I love his heart, Father. He said that he would go to prison or death for me, oh he means so well. How little he’s acquainted with his own weakness, Father, keep your hand on him. You know how Satan wants to sift him as wheat. And James, Father, the first martyr of the Church, of the apostles, Father, beheaded, so early to give his life, the soonest of these three to join me Lord, in your presence. Be with him, strengthen him, he will set an example for the rest. And John, the dreamer, teenager, a teenager, Father, the martyrdom of a long life, living to be close to a hundred, Father, coming to see him again on Patmos with the Revelation. Keep his faculties, Lord, keep him strong. When I appear to him on Patmos at over ninety, don’t let him drop dead, Father. Keep his mind sharp to record the things that he sees, strengthen him.’ And you know what, I believe he’s doing the same for us this evening. He knows us by name. I believe he’s praying for you if you’re here tonight and you’re in sexual sin. I believe he’s in pain again. Because the price has been paid. If you’re here tonight and you’re living in compromise in some way, I believe he’s praying for you. He hasn’t forsaken you, hasn’t cut you off, you haven’t surprised him, I hope you’re surprising yourself. If you don’t know him this evening, I hope as we sit here that your idea of who Jesus Christ is, is much different when you leave than when you came, in his great love. Well these guys didn’t understand what was going on. [Coupled to Matthew’s account, this explains “…and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” verse 46.]
Judas Shows Up With An Armed
“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.” (verse 47) The tense is “to continually kiss”, because Jesus didn’t glow in the dark [not visibly, anyway, but to the angels and demons he did]. The Romans couldn’t tell which one he was. Judas had to say ‘I will kiss the one, I will kiss Jesus of Nazareth. I will identify him.’ “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them”---who didn’t ask ‘Shall we smite with a sword?’---“smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” (verses 48-50) Now you have to understand what has happened. The soldiers have come to the cohort, six hundred soldiers, they have torches. Judas comes up and kisses Jesus, Jesus turns around and says to the soldiers “Whom seek ye?” They say “Jesus of Nazareth.” He answers “I AM”. Your translation says “I AM he”, he is in italics, he said what the burning bush said, he said “I AM.” And when he said it, it says they all fell down on the ground. [Comment: Pastor Joe says they were Roman soldiers, but many commentaries and sources say these were probably Jewish Temple guards and those in the direct employment of the Temple. Roman soldiers wouldn’t have reacted like this, falling to the ground in fear by Jesus calling himself I AM, another term for Yawheh, the God of the Old Testament, the God of Israel. Roman soldiers could have cared less.] Imagine 60 soldiers rolling around on torches on the ground, ‘Ouch, ooh, aah, aah,’ and they all stand up shocked. And he says to them again, “Whom seek ye?” This time they probably said “Jesus of Nazareth?” Then he said, ‘If you’ve come for me, let these go.’ It was because they all fell down, that the other guys thought, ‘This is it, he’s gonna set up the Kingdom!’ they still have the wrong idea, ‘Shall we strike them with a sword?’ Now Peter’s asleep. So he wakes up, Peter, wakes up, to see everybody else on the ground, rolling around, he hears the other disciples say ‘Lord, shall we get ‘em with the sword?’ Now Peter, you have to understand, it tells us in the end of John’s Gospel, that as they’re fishing there, after the Resurrection, Peter dives into the sea, swims to shore, the rest of the disciples come with a big net of fish that was so full they, plural, could not pull it in. Then it says Peter went down and pulled it in himself. So you have to imagine Peter, this huge, and they say he was older than the rest, old fisherman, with thumbs about this wide, giant knarly fingers, white hair, white beard, waking up out of sleep with his hair sticking out all over. And the rest of them are saying ‘Shall we hit them with the sword?’ (verse 49) and Peter just jumps up and pulls his sword out. Malcus, imagine seeing this giant old guy with a sword, his hair sticking all up, he must be running away, because he cut off his right ear. Peter either has to be left-handed, or the guy’s heading in the other direction. Probably the guy turned around to head out of there [while Peter was trying to cut off Malcus’ head]. “And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.” (verse 50) John 18:10 tells us his name is Malcus. “And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.” (verse 51) ‘You guys are too much’ is what that means. We don’t know whether he found the ear on the ground and stuck it back on, or just made a new one grow and gave him the old one and said ‘Put this one on your car keys.’ [loud laughter] Doctor Luke is the only one who tells us that he fixed the ear, because as a physician, he would be amazed at that story. ‘He did WHAT!?’ ‘Oh yea, he took the torch and said ‘Where is that thing, somebody find that for me.’’ Or did he just touch it and make a new one, and leave him to have the old one? (Which would have been a great testimony, wouldn’t it?) He’s lucky Peter was asleep, because I’m sure Peter was trying to take his head off, which would have really been an interesting miracle for Doctor Luke, if Jesus would have put his head back on. Or if he put a new head back on and just let him have the old one. [laughter] Sorry, I don’t know, my mind just goes there, I’m tired. Well they couldn’t bring charges against Peter, that’s for sure. ‘He cut off my ear!’ ‘Where is it?’ ‘Here, well you got one on your head too.’ I think Malcus becomes a well-place convert, personally. [i.e. the personal servant of the high priest, Caiaphus, a member of the early Church, that would have been interesting.] “Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (verse 52-53) Jesus is saying, ‘I’m submitted to this, I’ve already settled it in the garden, I’ve taken the cup.’ I want to have the musicians come…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Luke 22:35-53 by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]
How Do I Become A Christian? See:
http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and scroll to the bolded paragraph titled “How to Become a Christian” and read from there.