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John Moore
 
August 16, 2022 | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – Jesus’ Preparation for Suffering – Overwhelmed with Sorrow (Part One)

We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples. In this final week, Jesus predicts his death by crucifixion in two days. This is followed by the details of the sham trial to be conducted by the religious leaders to trap and murder Jesus. Now Jesus makes two shocking predictions – the one who will betray Him, and the one who will deny knowing him! If ever a spiritual movement looked destined for failure, it would be this last week of Jesus – the leader killed, the followings betraying Him or denying him as they scatter. Three shock waves in this final week. Now the cross is in full view and we see Jesus in preparation for his death.

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:36-39.

1. Jesus preparing for the cross with prayer. After the prediction of Peter’s denial, Jesus took his disciples into the garden of Gethsemane. Leaving them, he moved to a different place nearby and began to pray to his Father.  This is a moving and touching picture of the relationship of God the Father and God the Son. Three persons yet one. Jesus as fully man and fully God

6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [a]robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [b]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Philippians 2:6-8.

2. The Humanity of Jesus Before his Death. Rarely have the Scriptures been more honest in the life of Jesus ‘my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death'. This poignant picture of Jesus was shared with his disciples. Yet, they would not hear this and did not stay vigilant. More on that next week.

3. Jesus’ prayer despite the Inevitability of the Cross – ‘if possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet not as I will, but as you will.’  Again, an incredible glimpse into the trauma of the One who would bear the sins of the world on his Righteous being, and moreover, his submission to the will of the Father.

Huge lessons here about life, about prayer, and about trusting God for our future, even contrary to what we want.  God’s blessing to you this week as you meditate on these concepts. They are worth some quiet time between you and your God. Best.

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