Jesus’ Great Decision as King
Book of Matthew Chapter 26:36-46
We have been studying our Lord Jesus in His final week before a very cruel cross.
The Lord Jesus, 100% God yet 100% man knew what He faced.
He faced betrayal by one of His disciples.
He faced a false trial by religious hypocrites.
He faced physical abuse much, much more than necessary by tyrannical governments.
He faced a humiliating death by crucifixion.
He faced the burden of carrying the weight of every sin that had been committed and every sin that would be committed in all this world.
This death for Christ Jesus was different from that of any natural man.
Our Lord Jesus accepted the verdict of guilty for my sin and your sin and all sinners.
Our Lord Jesus accepted the penalty and punishment for my sin and for your sin and for all sinners.
By doing these things for me and for you and for every believer, we can now have eternal life!
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We should ask ourselves just what is death?
Physical death is a reality for every member of the human race!
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
When the Bible speaks of death, it is speaking of the death of the physical body, but it is not speaking of the soul.
The soul is the life-principle of man and cannot die because it is God-given.
The body is made of things of this world.
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The soul is made by God Himself and only God can destroy the soul.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Death of the body is the wages of sin, but this death is not an annihilation because life continues for the believer and for the unbeliever after the death of the body!
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
For the believer death means to join Jesus Christ in Heaven.
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
With all these things on the mind of Christ, He resorted to prayer to His Heavenly Father.
Let us begin:
*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.
What is prayer? Prayer is a conversation with our Holy God who is also our Heavenly Father, who wants very much to hear from His children!
Many of us believe that all the disciples were there except Judas who had begun his betrayal.
The Lord Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem only as the Spiritual King and not as conquering king, and Judas now knew that Jesus was not going to raise an army to defeat Rome and he therefore rejected Him.
Our Lord Jesus, the human side wanted desperately to talk to His Heavenly Father.
I know I have been this way many times.
I know that many times I have had to fight my shame in talking to my Heavenly Father, but I have always felt better after I have prayed.
Many things were on the heart of our Lord but quitting was not one of them!
The Lord Jesus wanted His disciples to feel that closeness of a Father in Heaven who is still the Almighty God.
Certainly our Lord Jesus was afflicted.
Certainly He suffered.
What we need to understand.
We were guilty if sin with no way out of the wages of death! Jesus Christ willed our forgiveness.
We were enslaved to Satan with no way to escape! Jesus Christ willed our freedom.
We were sorrowful! Jesus Christ willed our peace.
We were dying! Jesus Christ willed us life for ever.
What was Jesus praying about? Father thy will be done as it is Heaven, and the requirement was a blood sacrifice.
Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Our Lord Jesus entered into His closet at the Garden of Gethsemane. He wanted His disciples to pray for His strength to battle with Satan.
This the same thing we do, when we pray for our Pastor.
He asked some of us to pray during the preaching and this is what we should praying strength to battle the Devil.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
These things weighed heavy on our Savior, but He had no intention of quitting.
He just wished He did not have to break fellowship with His Father not even for one moment.
*Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Say where is that proof?
In every prayer the Lord spoke to His Father, but once He took upon Himself all the sin of the world, just for a moment, His Father could not look upon sin and Our Lord Jesus bore all our sin!
Mar 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Once that sin was in the grave and then in Hell, His fellowship was restored to His Father!
These disciples just did not understand Satan was trying his best to keep the Lord from going to that miserable cross.
Some would ask what difference would it make, if Jesus came to die?
Our Lord Jesus tried to explain this to them earlier:
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Joh 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Bible prophecy had to be fulfilled just as it was written, and it has been.
This is the very reason there are so many trying to discredit the Word of God!
1) Jesus Christ, our Lord felt much sorrow and pain and was in much heaviness.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
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.
We can believe that the human part of the Lord has felt the agony of what was about to happen to Him.
Remember the Lord Jesus was 100% God, but at this time He was also still 100% human.
2) Our Lord Jesus was suffering much agony and grief and He wanted these men who had become His close friends to be near Him and pray with Him, but they had failed Him even in this as Jesus had said “watch with me”.
This is why it is important for someone to be praying for our Pastor while he preaches!
3) Our Lord Jesus Christ also warned these disciples to pray for themselves because the entire world would change at the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We must clearly understand that we must strive against sin at any cost to ourselves!
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
The Lord Jesus gave His life in great agony to pay for our sin!
What happened here in the Garden to Gethsemane should be our wakeup call in our everyday life trying not to sin.
When we sin, we are just adding to the agony of our Lord even in His forgiveness!
Thank goodness for His great love for us!
We can also see that it was that talking to our Heavenly Father (Prayer) that makes the difference in the comfort of our soul!
*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.
We must understand that “prayer” is not just a great privilege, it is necessity for us in today’s world!
We should also understand that even though this human side of our Lord Jesus was in such great agony, there was never at any point that Satan had the strength to destroy our Lord Jesus!
The Lord Jesus was bound for the cross, not “death in the Garden of Gethsemane”, no matter how hard Satan tried to kill Him there!
Anyone who teaches such a thing dishonors our Savior!
This human body of Christ was immortal just as the Church, the Body of Christ is immortal and can stand against the “gates of hell”.
Every Christian is immortal until God says it is our time to die!
If we believe that in our conflict with Satan, that he has the power to take our life at any moment, then we are saying Satan is stronger than our Lord Jesus Christ and this is false teaching!
Sure Jesus was in agony, He was taking upon Himself all the sin then, past, and future, He was surely in agony, but Satan could never take His life nor can he, our lives!
At no time was the Lord Jesus Christ in danger of death!
Death is the result of sin, and Our Lord Jesus Christ had no sin of Himself!
Only on the Cross was Our Lord Jesus made sin for us!
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
What did Jesus say?
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Our Lord Jesus laid down His glory to come to this earth with a mission to save our souls and nothing of this earth nor of the things of Heaven nor of the things of Hell could stop from completing His work!
Any teaching that goes against what our Lord accomplished is false teaching!
What was His agony?
What was He dreading?
What was that sorrow unto death?
Jesus who was in the image of God was soon to be made sin and had to stand in the presence of God.
His Father’s face which had always looked toward Him was soon to be hid!
For just a moment in time He was no longer the beloved of God!
His Father’s smile on Him would change to a frown!
That awful cry from the Cross tells us the whole story.
Mar_15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
We will never know this suffering for which our Savior endured because for this thing that our Savior did, we can never be forsaken!
Heb_13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
In all things the Lord Jesus Christ pleased His Father and so should we as best we can!
Luk_22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Jesus so wanted His disciples to pray for Him and with Him. they were also His friends.
*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?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
What we see is that even in His death, the Lord Jesus Christ stood alone, neglected by His closest friends.
What we see is that we may not ever understand everything that the Lord teaches us, but we must have enough “faith” to just believe what He says!
We may fail to pray for our Pastor, our family, and our friends which is awful, but we had better not forget to pray for ourselves!
We must watch what is going on in the world and the things that relate to the return of Christ Jesus, and we must pray that we with the power of God can stand with the Lord.
One man wrote that. “to watch is to see” and “to pray is be prepared”.
We cannot depend upon our own wisdom we need the mind of Christ Jesus!
Yes, they had a taxing day, and they were tired!
Yes, they were worried and fatigued!
We all know that concentration on prayer is hard enough without these obstacles.
Prayer is just too important to allow these things to interfere with our prayers and our prayer life.
It is a sure fact that we cannot fight temptation on our own!
Temptation is being enticed to commit sin.
The sources of temptation are:
2) This world.
3) Our Flesh.
Playing around with temptation will always lead to sad consequences!
When we watch and pray, we are saying, “I am depending upon you God to help me through this temptation” and He will!
If you have survived that temptation, then you need to thank the Lord for His help!
You see as a believer we are never alone!
Many of our trials come in an instant and in our weakness, we need to watch and pray immediately.
We know that our flesh struggles against the Holy Spirit who abides with us.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
We need the strength of the Lord and a daily filling of the Holy Spirit!
The Lord went back to His prayer closet and prayed 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.
We should take the time to read Psalm 102
Psalm 102:1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
Psalm 102:2 Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
Psa 102:24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.
Psa 102:18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
Psa 102:19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
Psa 102:20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
Psa 102:21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
Psa 102:22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
The Lord Jesus Christ was not afraid to die, His death had a great purpose! Our Salvation.
Our Lord Jesus did not want to break fellowship with the Father not even for one moment!
Whatever the will of the Father for Him, that the Lord Jesus was happy to comply with!
Those who were there with Him just fell asleep and many a Christian are still asleep today, not realizing just how close we are to the return of Our Lord Jesus!
Our Lord went to pray a third time.
*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.
We must clearly understand that Christ Jesus was not afraid of the death He faced. There was joy in what He was about to do!
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.
He just wanted a different way than a separation from our Heavenly Father even if it was just for a moment in time.
By this death Our Lord Jesus made a way that we can never be forsaken. This is that gift of “Grace” to the believer!
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
When we face the trials of life, and we will, we need to remember these prayers from Gethsemane as an example given to us by our Master!
What are the enemies of our prayers?
1) Physical drowsiness.
2) Spiritual blindness, not believing what the Lord teaches us.
3) Taking God for granted. We must be sure our prayers reach into Heaven!
By the end of these prayers Our Lord Jesus had His answers, and He was prepared to drink of His bitter cup.
The best decision is always just to be obedient to our Heavenly Father!
*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.
What His friends could not do for Him the Holy Spirit accomplished!
Our Lord Jesus was now at peace with what He was about to do.
He knew the terrible things that men of this world would do to Him, but He never flinched.
Christ had been in agony, but He was now at peace.
We to can find peace when we are sincere in our prayers, even when we do not get what we want.
Jesus knew what was about to happen and He welcomed the fact that in His death the world could be saved from the clutches of the Devil.
The traitor Judas led a small army of men to take the Lord Jesus to those who would judge Him, though they had already made up their minds to kill Him.
They carried swords and staves to overcome any that were with Jesus.
There were Temple guards and Roman soldiers.
There were some from the Sanhedrin Court and also of the Elders of Israel.
There was the traitor.
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.
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not get what He wanted, but His decision had been made and with joy He obeyed His Father!
God sometimes says “No” because it is just the right thing to do.
To be in the will of His Father, the Son had to die!