May 26, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship
Mark’s record of the Gethsemane scene is the darkest of the four gospels. Matthew’s account describes Jesus’ grief as simply grieving while Luke omits all references to Jesus’ grief entirely. The lack of description in the other gospels has caused many to wonder why Mark includes this description of anguish and wrongly concludes that Jesus suffered from an eleventh hour crisis of nerve. Join us as we look at Mark 14 verses 26 to 42 and learn the lessons of the Garden of Gethsemane and explore the “Essence of Hell” as Jesus prays to His heavenly Father.
Word On Worship – May 26, 2013 Download / Print
“He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
Mark’s record of the Gethsemane scene is the darkest of the four gospels. Matthew’s account describes Jesus’ grief as simply grieving while Luke omits all references to Jesus’ grief entirely. The lack of description in the other gospels has caused many to wonder why Mark includes this description of anguish and wrongly conclude that Jesus suffered from an eleventh hour crisis of nerve. How can Jesus challenge James and John to drink His cup when He now seemly shrinks from it Himself?
If we attempt to discount the strong emotions of Mark’s description then we fail to see that Jesus has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Many explanations have been suggested to explain His trembling and tears. Did He know the sins of the world were to be laid upon Him? Maybe it was from contemplating dying by a cursed method of hanging from a tree? Others suggest it was being abandoned by His closest friends when the disciples lose faith and scatter leaving Him alone.
Jesus’ mental torment during the waiting in the garden was yet another temptation He had to face. The suffering Jesus experienced at the beatings and floggings were a physical ordeal. But it is the anxiety of waiting that can make one fall to pieces. Jesus knew infinitely more about the holiness and righteousness of God and what would be required to pay for the sins of the world. Jesus was not worrying about the future as we do. He is not exaggerating possibilities. He knew precisely what the future held. What He anguishes over is exactly what He will experience and knew He must call upon His Father and to entrust Himself to His will.
So what do we get from Mark’s gospel which is not included in the other gospels accounts of the long night of Gethsemane? Mark allows us to see Jesus following His own teaching to the disciples – praying and drawing closer to His Father. Hearing Jesus pray at this moment of great crisis is the example He wants each of us to follow. Satan battles for every human heart and we are hardwired by sin to try to save our own lives. The disciples are no example to us as they flee in the night when Judas changes sides and Peter denies Him publicly. Jesus, our Great High Priest, resolves the anguish by coming to His Father in prayer and obediently submitting to the will of the God.