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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we continue our series titled “Personal portraits of Peter”.

These messages will contain lessons that can help each of us daily.

Today we are talking about Peter in Gethsemane.

Text

Matthew 26:40-41 (AMP)

40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? 

41 Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Scripture Reading.

Matthew 26:36-56

Introduction 

Some Christians believe in soul sleeping after death.

Soul sleeping before death is evident.

Jesus’ request that the disciples watch with Him during His anguish in Gethsemane raises the very interesting questions why Deity ever needs help from humanity.  

  1. Jesus desired His disciples to watch with Him.
  1. Early in His ministry after a night of prayer, Jesus had chosen twelve from His disciples and called them apostles.

Mark said that one of Jesus’ reasons for choosing disciples was “that they should be with Him” in Mark 3:14.

B. The Saviour faces a crisis.

  1. Note the intensity of the struggle, 

Matthew 26:37-39 (AMP)

37 And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. 

38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”

39 And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup [a]pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Luke indicated the intensity of the struggle with these words,

Luke 22:44  (AMP)

44 And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground.

2. What was the cup about which He prayed?

  1. Was it the fear of death?

Of bodily pain?

Of the shame of crucifixion?

If so, the stream has risen higher than its source, for thousands of followers of Jesus have gone to the rack, to the stake, to death, not even asking that they might be spared, counting it all for joy that they might suffer for the sake of His name.

b. Was the anguish that of a sense of failure?

Of futility?

Was He worried that His work wouldn’t be finished?

The facts are the opposite.

The disciples were very sorrowful.

They thought the end was at hand, but there was not a word on Jesus’ lips suggesting defeat.

A reading of the account of Jesus in the upper room in John 13 through 17 will reveal that Jesus interprets His death in terms of victory.

Let’s note a few of the examples.

  • John 13:3. Jesus did not expect to stay dead.

He knew that He came from God and would fo to the Father.

He had earlier spoken of the voluntary nature of His death as recorded in John 10:17-17.

The last words of Jesus from the cross in Luke 23:46 (AMP)

46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last.

Imply a voluntary action on Jesus’ part, and that He was going to the Father rather than to extinction in the tomb.

  • John 13:31-32. Jesus considered that His death would glorify God.

This could not have been true if He had feared death as final.

  • John 14:1-3. How could Jesus so confidently promise eternal life in the Father’s house if He was afraid of death?
  • John 14:26-31, John 15:26-27, and John 16:7-16.

Jesus would depart and send the Holy Spirit.

He would fulfil His promise in Matthew 28:20 (AMP)

20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

These example could be multiplied.

The anguish of our Lord in Gethsemane was not fear of death.

3. The cup was filled with the penalty of humankind’s sins.

It represents all that a Holy God must do to forgive sinners.

It is the Father’s will that Jesus drink the cup.

John 18:11 (AMP)

11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword [back] in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

John the Baptist had identified Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Jesus’ baptism symbolised His ministry that would culminate I death and resurrection.

The voice from heaven identified Him as the Son of God and the servant of Jehovah.

If you read Matthew 3:17 you will see it is a combination of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1.

Jesus identified Himself to the woman from Samaria as the Messiah in John 4:25-26 and to the people  in the synagogue at Nazareth as the servant of Jehovah predicted by Isaiah (see Luke 4:16-21)

On His authority we can apply to Him the passages about the servant of Jehovah, including Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

The drinking of the cup was necessary for Jesus to be the saviour of the world.

His real prayer was not “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me”, but, rather, Matthew 26:39 (AMP)

39 And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

If the former had been His prayer, the author of Hebrews would have erred in saying that God heard him.

Note carefully, Hebrews 5:7-9 (AMP)

7 In the days of His earthly life, Jesus offered up both [specific] petitions and [urgent] supplications [for that which He needed] with fervent crying and tears to the One who was [always] able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission toward God [His sinlessness and His unfailing determination to do the Father’s will]. 

8 Although He was a Son [who had never been disobedient to the Father], He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered. 

9 And having been made perfect [uniquely equipped and prepared as Savior and retaining His integrity amid opposition], He became the source of eternal salvation [an eternal inheritance] to all those who obey Him,

I would strongly recommend thoughtfully reading Hebrews 2:9-10 and 12:1-2.

2. The contrast between Jesus and His disciples was great.

  1. They did not understand the issue.

They did not know what was in the cup the Lord was about to drink.

They were asleep to the importance of the hour.

B. Why Jesus, the Son of God, needed His disciples is a great mystery, but He did.

In His hour of need, they were asleep.

When Jesus found them sleeping, He was disappointed, but His reprimand was very gentle and understanding, Matthew 26:40-41 (AMP)

40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? 

41 Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 

We do not understand why the Lord needs our witness.

Could He not accomplish His purposes without our prayers?

Or without our participation?

The record is clear.

God has chosen to use Hs disciples in accomplishing His purpose.

He says, “Watch with Me.”

Conclusion.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

His love for lost persons is unabated, His passion for God’s kingdom is unchecked, His call for our service, our companionship, and our witness is clear.

Do we care?

Do we pray, “Thy kingdom come”?

Is it any concern of ours that people are lost?

Or do we say, “Let me sleep”?

Ephesians 5:14(AMP)

14 For this reason He says,

“Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.”

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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