With Loud Crying and TearsSeries: Probing The Passion
LOUD CRYING AND TEARS
Sermon By Terry Siverd / June 26, 2022 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
I have titled this brief series, “Probing The Passion.”
Since The Lord's Supper or the Table of the Lord was and remains so CENTRAL, it's important that we try to discern
its meaning more fully. It is very important that we guard against hollowing out that which is hallowed (holy).
The record of the Lord's passion looms large in the Gospels.
Almost one third of the material presented in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) addresses the passion.
This morning I want us to meditate on the events that unfolded in “the garden” (not Eden but Gethsemane).
The gospels depict Jesus as a man on a mission who knew precisely why He was sent by His Father.
Lk.2:49 reveals that even at the ripe young age of twelve Jesus responded to His mother's gentle rebuke saying,
Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business? cf. Lk.2:52/He continued to grow...
Luke's gospel paints a very clear picture of Jesus as One who was fully cognizant of the goal of His mission on earth.
In Lk.9:31 we read of Jesus' encounter with Moses and Elijah who appeared with Him on the mount of transfiguration.
The text tells us that (they) were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Lk.9:51 states, He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem.
Lk.13:22 / He was passing through from one city/ village to another, teaching and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem …
Lk.13:33 / I must journey on today and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Lk17:11 / while He was on His way to Jerusalem … Lk.18:31 / we are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things written through the prophets about the Son of Man must be accomplished … Lk.19:11 / He was near(ing) Jerusalem …
Lk.19:28 & 41/ He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusalem …As He approached, He saw the city and wept over it.
A careful reading of Luke's gospel would likely cause one to conclude that Jesus was fixated on Jerusalem.
Mt.16:21-23 synchronizes with the time just prior to the Lord's transfiguration - -
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many
things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and raised up on the third day.
According to the text, Peter rebuked Jesus, saying, God forbid it, Lord!
This shall never happen to You. Jesus chastened Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's.
In the gospel of John we see a similar thread being woven - - also emphasizing Jesus' purpose.
Jn.4:34 / My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, to accomplish His work.
Jn.5:30 /... I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jn.6:38 / I have come from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
As Jesus approached the time of His passion, He told His disciples (Jn.12:27) - - Now My soul has become
troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour?' But for this purpose I came to this hour.
John's gospel (Jn.18:10-11) details an incident that took place in the garden when the soldiers came to
arrest Jesus. Peter drew his sword and struck the servant (Malchus) of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
Jesus said to Peter, Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?!
To better grasp Calvary we must begin in Gethsemane.
Mt.26:36-37 records - - Then Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and stressed.
A parallel passage in Mk.14:33 includes a similar combination of the words: distressed and troubled
KJV/sore amazed & very heavy... Moffat/appalled & agitated … NCV/sad & troubled ...NEB/horror & dismay.
Jesus had spoken often about His suffering and death. But as when come to His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, there appears to be a sudden plunge into an awful agony. The name Gethsemane means “the oil press”.
It may well be that here in Gethsemane Jesus began to feel the weight of being crushed and bruised (Isa.53:5).
Mk.14:34 records Jesus' words: My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death.
Lk.22:44 states that being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood...
Jesus prayed: Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will but Thine be done.
Heb.5:7-8 states, In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears
to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
When Judas arrived to betray Jesus with a kiss, soldiers laid hands on Jesus and seized Him (Mt.26:50f).
Peter drew His sword and began to resist. Jesus directed Peter to put away His sword and then He told them,
Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal twelve legions of angels?
But then He adds, How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that IT MUST HAPPEN THIS WAY!
When we ponder the passion there are multiple mysteries that challenge us - - sometimes defying our comprehension.
Indeed, there is an aura of mystery that shrouds the passion: mysterium tremendum.
As we've considered previously, How could the loving Father forsake His only begotten and dearly beloved Son?
To grasp this truth we must recognize both the LOVE & HOLINESS of God. When Jesus became sin for us (2Cor.5:21), God had to look away. It wasn't that Jesus just felt forsaken, in becoming sin for us, God's holy wrath fell on Jesus.
Now we've witnessed Jesus in the garden. After teaching His disciples about the suffering and death that were essential to His mission, why would Jesus now fervently petition His Father to let this cup pass from Him?
The only answer to this is to ponder the full humanity of Jesus.
Jesus was fully God.
Matthew's gospel opens with an angelic declaration given to Joseph (Mt.1:21 & 23) - - (Mary) would bear a son;
and you shall call him Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins...Behold, the virgin shall be
with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name 'Immanuel', which translated means, 'GOD with us'.
Jn.1:1 & 14 states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
But Jesus was also fully man.
In Philp.2:5f we read, Although He existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The lyrics of a song in our hymnal has been reverberating in my mind throughout my preparations for this brief series:
(“The Ninety And Nine” / #641, vs.3) - - None of the ransomed ever knew how deep
were the waters crossed Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through...
Here in the garden on the night of His betrayal Jesus was in the very shadow of the cross.
What He was experiencing was unlike anything any other human had ever faced.
Jesus did not just suffer and bleed, He bore the full weight of that righteous wrath which (we) deserved.
Surely this will cause us to meditate on the gravity of our sin and the price that had to be paid to secure our redemption.
Next Sunday we want to consider another mysterium tremendum.
In what sense did it please God the Father to crush Jesus (sa.53:10)?
How, in the midst of such suffering and agony, was Jesus able to consider the cross to be JOY (Heb.12:2)?
Note: Some of the thoughts shared in this sermon can be traced to Frederick Leahy's insightful book, The Cross He Bore.