“The Son did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.”
He lived 33 years = 7,100 weeks +
The last week, including the resurrection is MORE important than ANY other week in his weekly life.
So, the last week occupies about 1/5 of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life.
This week is called “Passion Week” beginning with Palm Sunday, when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey.
- Monday = Day of Authority – he cleansed, purified the temple, and cursed the fig tree with only leaves, no fruit.
- Tuesday = Day of Debate – they questioned him “by what authority are you doing these things?” And he cursed the religious leaders and showed signs of the end of the age.
- Wednesday = Day of Conspiracy – the plot with Judas
- Thursday = Passover meal, Day of Preparation, the final farewell sermon, and prayer (intercessory), and Gethsemene Garden Prayer
- Friday = the Day of Suffering – arrested, moved to the high priests, tried, crucified
- Saturday = the Day of Preparation – in the tomb, under the ground, Roman soldiers kept watch over the tomb.
With his intercessory prayer in chp 17, his private ministry with the 12 disciples has finished.
From chp 18, universal drama for world salvation is to begin – the world, sinners, did the worst against Him, yet he did the best to them.
Between the two, there is a great prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene – not written in John, but in the other gospels.
Let’s look at it briefly:
Jesus said to the disciples: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, so stay awake, watch and pray for me.”
In chp 17, he prayed for his disciples, and everyone.
Next, he asked them to pray for him.
He went a ways away and petitioned God, “My Father, if possible, take this cup from me. But not as I will, but as you will.”
Then, he returned to the disciples and found them sleeping.
“Pray and watch so you don’t fall into temptation, spirit is willing, but body is weak.”
He went away, prayed, returned, found them sleeping.
Jesus gave no comment, returned to his place and prayed.
Luke says, “He prayed MORE earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (physically, medically possible under extreme stress)
Jesus again prayed, “If possible, take this cup from me.”
Returned to his disciples, asleep, and said, “Are you still sleeping, rise, the time has come.”
Then, these events from John 18.
We can see 5 aspects of Jesus’ character from these events:
#1 – Jesus’ courage – Passover = full moon
So the night was almost like daytime.
The guards must have thought they would have to search for him high and low, Jesus would be hiding and trembling in a hidden place – but before they found Jesus, he found them. Before they spoke to him, he spoke to them.
How is it possible that Jesus, in the face of death, is bold and fearless?
Last night, he prayed the whole night, he was very purposeful about knowing the will of God the Father.
For us: the more we kneel before God, the more we can stand before the world courageously.
The best knowledge in this world is to know the will of God.
If we have faith in Jesus, we can face anything in front of us.
#2 – Jesus’ authority
Can you picture this? Imagine?
From a human’s perspective, this picture seems very strange. Of course, Jesus was with his 11 disciples, yet he was very much alone, unarmed, didn’t sleep, didn’t eat breakfast.
How many people came to arrest him?
A detachment (cohort) of soldiers, and some officials of the high priest, and Pharisees, and a commander, and servants, (and obviously Judas).
At that time, one cohort of soldiers consisted of at least 600 soldiers.
At that time, the Samheedren? had temple police and Pharisees – religious leaders.
Jesus was alone, unarmed, tired, exhausted.
Yet several hundred soldiers came to arrest him.
We think , the picture should have been:
Soldiers with authority: “Come on! Where’s Jesus!” Pitchforks and torches – mob looking for him.
Yet, Jesus spoke first, “Who is it you want?” And they were trembling holding weapons.
When Jesus said, “I am he.”
When they heard, they (armed mob) fell back and onto the ground – several hundred.
How is it possible?
Simply that statement has power and authority over all human beings and sinners.
In John, we’ve seen 10 “I Am” statements.
Actually, this one is from Exodus 3:14 “I Am Who I Am.”
In Gethsemene, his heart was overwhelmed to save sinners, and their hearts were overwhelmed by his authority.
#3 – Jesus’ willing choice to die.
Jesus came to earth to die. – First sentence spoken in this sermon series.
Today, we see his willing decision to die for sinners. It is very clear that he could have escaped death if he had wanted. He could have run, made them blind, made them frozen on the ground, killed all of them with a word, if he had wanted.
Outwardly, they arrested him.
But, inwardly, Jesus’ arrested sinners by being arrested by them.
In fact, Jesus HELPED them arrest him.
“I am the Good Shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again.”
Jesus arrested them by being arrested.
#4 – Jesus’ protective (continual) love and gentleness
v. 8 – “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”
John 6:39 – “This is the will of Him who sent me, that I do not lose anyone whom God has given to me.”
Jesus shows his love to the full extent – he laid down his life for sinners.
No higher, no deeper, no wider, no longer is His love for us.
Ephesians – the height, depth, width, of his love is greater than we can imagine.
Romans 8 – what can separate us from the love of God? Can angels, demons, hardship, trouble, death, life, present, future, no powers on earth, height, depth, nothing in all Creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Still now, his love is available for you and me.
Jesus’ love never fails, never fades, never wilts.
Do you experience this love?
#5 – Jesus’ obedience
Whenever he prayed, he looked for the will of God the Father, not his own will.
Phil 2:5,6,7,8,9 says, “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus, who being the very nature God, didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped. He became a servant, a man, humbled himself and became obedient even to death, even on a cross.”
Actually, Jesus is original God, and took 7 downward steps.
- Original God
- Didn’t consider equality with God
- Made himself nothing
- Humbled himself
- Took the nature of servant (even angels like this)
- became a man (like a sinful man)
- obedient to death
- shameful death on a cross
And so Bible encourages us, challenges us to keep the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.
What attitude? Kind and humble, no, even to the point of death – to glorify Him, because He died already for us.
He died for us, now is our turn, we must die for him.
Human history began in a garden.
The first sin of man was committed in that garden.
- The first man Adam brought disobedience and sin in the garden. He was cast out of that garden.
- Second Adam (Jesus) obeyed God when he entered the Garden of Gethsemene.
- First Adam brought sin and death into the garden.
- Second Adam brought life and salvation to all men through his obedience.
- First Adam became a living being.
- Second Adam became a life-giving being.
History will also end in a garden, in heaven, with no sickness, no pain, no suffering, the tree of Life will produce bountiful fruit.
- Eden was a garden of sin, disobedience, death.
- Gethsemene is a garden of obedience, humility, submission.
- Heaven is an eternal garden of delight, happiness, satisfaction in our Father God.