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We are getting to the last hours before the crucifixion. In less than 24 hours, Jesus will be dead. The betrayal is taking place, the upper room discourse is over, Jesus will die as the Passover lamb.  

We are going to look at the time Jesus spent in the garden. Even though John does not spend much time there, the other gospels do. It seems like there was a room in the garden. Maybe one of his wealthy supporters had an olive grove, and let Jesus use it as a place to rest or pray.  

John 18:1-2, “After Jesus had said these things, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.” 

This was a place that Jesus used often. There was no surveillance like today, so they needed an inside guy to tell them where He was, and which one Jesus was, that is where Judas comes in. 

Matthew 26:36, “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 

Gethsemane was the place of crushing, the place where olives were pressed. Jesus knew His hour had come. 

The entire purpose of the first advent of Christ child was to save humanity from their sins.  

Matthew 26:37-38, “Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.”   

When Jesus got to the garden, something made Him sorrowful and deeply distressed. This is the cost of Christmas! He understood the price that He had to pay for the redemption of this world.

Matthew 26:39 says, “Going a little farther, he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 

The “cup” is a Hebrew metaphor for the wrath of God poured out on the wickedness of humanity. It is about judgement of sin. Jesus is asking the Father for another way to redeem creation, to redeem humanity.  

However, there was no other way to make humans right with God, but the blood of Jesus. Every other worldview understands the world is broken and they seek to do something to make it right. Yet the gospel says that it is not about what you can do, but it is all about what Jesus has done for you. 

John 18:3 says, “So Judas took a company of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.” 

The Jews and Romans had a common enemy in Jesus; therefore, the Romans were willing to enforce what the Jews wanted.

John 18:5-6 says, Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Who is it that you’re seeking?”, “Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “I am he,” Jesus told them. Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them.”

Judas was standing with the Roman soldiers; he had chosen sides. He is not losing his salvation; he is revealing who he is.  You cannot lose your salvation but you can fake it.

Just because you are associated with Jesus does not mean that you are a follower of Jesus. Judas is like the churchgoer that still does what they want, how they want, when they want. It is not about perfection, it is all about direction.  

In this account, there are two kinds of people: Peter and Judas. Peter and Judas were, up until a few hours ago, indistinguishable from one another. They had the same preacher, heard the same sermons. On the outside they were similar. Both of them denied Jesus before He is crucified. They both regret it.

The difference is that one of them runs away from Jesus filled with shame and takes his life, the other one runs to Jesus and is transformed and forgiven.

There are moments when it is hard to worship. However, when we stop to think about Jesus and His work on the cross, we can always be ready to worship.

Four Motivations for Worship 

  1. Jesus Loves You 
  1. Jesus Cares for You 
  1. Jesus Defines You 
  1. Jesus Forgives You 

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