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Featured In the Garden of Gethsemane

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by atpollard, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin. [Hebrews 4:15 NASB]

    When we speak of the precious blood of Christ being shed for us, our thoughts immediately turn to the cross and His death. However, the first sacred drops of blood which Jesus shed for us, were shed long before the cross, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Peter, James and John

    Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, "Sit here while I go over there to pray." He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." [Matthew 26:36-38 NLT]

    Jesus told his disciples to wait nearby, but took Peter, James and John along with him to keep him company while Jesus prayed. So why take those three in particular along?

    Peter, James and John were with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry, they had been with him every hour of every day and had been among the first to give up everything to follow Jesus:
    • [Matthew 4:18-22 NASB] Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the [son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

    Peter, James and John were the same disciples that had seen Jesus as not only the promised Messiah, but in His glory as the transfigured Son of God:
    • [Matthew 17:1-5 NASB] 1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"

    From Jesus own lips, His soul was being crushed and, as a man, he did not want to be alone.
    • "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." [Matthew 26:38 NIV]
    • For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. [Hebrews 2:17-18 NIV]

    “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


    Have you considered the depth of meaning in those words as Jesus spoke them?

    He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." [Matthew 26:39 NLT]

    Jesus was being crushed by the Father under the weight of the sins He had begun to carry for us. He already told us that his soul was crushed to the point of death (Matthew 26:38). In response, Jesus sought out His Father in prayer and worship, but not any type of prayer and worship ... Jesus fell prostrate before God and cried out from the agony of his innermost being.

    “If it is possible” ... Jesus begins his prayer with a revelation of the fear in his human heart. Jesus flesh cries out for God to take away the “bitter cup” that He must drink. “your will to be done, not mine” indicates that the ultimate desire of Jesus’ spirit is to do the will of the father.

    The Apostle Paul wrote:
    • We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? [Romans 7:14-24 NIV]

    Jesus, our High Priest, knows EXACTLY how it feels to struggle with the flesh wanting one thing and the spirit wanting another ... yet without sin (in Jesus’ case) except for our sin.
    • God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV]

    Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!" [Matthew 26:40-41 NLT]

    The reprimand was given to Peter and is generally good advice for each of them and all of us. We should all “keep watch and pray, so that (we) will not give in to temptation.” On the other hand, Jesus had already dealt with Peter and his future denials, even assuring Peter that he would return to Christ and be restored:
    • And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift [you] as wheat. "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to [Me], strengthen your brethren." [Luke 22:31-32 NKJV]

    So one must wonder if something more is going on here, and I believe that there is. Jesus was afraid. Jesus was facing the most terrifying struggle of his human life ... not death, Jesus KNEW that Glory awaited him ... not physical pain, because as terrible as that is, many people face physical pain ... the greatest struggle is the battle that takes place in the heart and in the mind. Ask anyone that has ever struggled through depression or despair. The pain of chemotherapy pales besides the constant terror of the word “cancer” brings.

    Jesus was facing the battle between the flesh and the spirit. In the grip of human fear, Jesus had looked to his three closest disciples to pray with him. To be with him as Jesus struggled. Jesus was afraid to struggling alone ... he knew OUR ETERNITY was at stake. Jesus was called to fight our fight so that we could have victory in him. Was a little company for the struggle too much to ask? Then he finds his “prayer warriors” asleep before even an hour had passed.

    There is a human trait called projection. People who struggle with the truth, think everyone else is lying to them. Jesus may have been frustrated and disappointed that those he sought to stand with him had failed and may have projected some of Jesus struggle onto them. From his prayer (Matthew 26:39), Jesus’ flesh clearly wanted God to find another way, and Jesus’ spirit clearly wanted God’s will to be done. From his statement (Matthew 26:41), the weakness of the body and the willingness of the spirit was clearly something that was on Jesus’ mind.
     
  2. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    David faces Goliath all alone.

    Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done." When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open. [Matthew 26:42-43 NLT]

    The second time Jesus goes off to pray, his prayer is slightly different. Jesus is no longer asking for the cup to be taken away. “If this cup cannot” indicates that Jesus still fears the cup and does not desire it. The attitude now feels more like a desire to “hurry up and get this over with”. When we are involved in some struggle, our first instinct is for God to come and just take the problem far away from us. Just fix it. If God will not deliver us FROM the struggle, then our second instinct is for God to hurry up and deliver us THROUGH the struggle. If the pain cannot be avoided, the we want to just get it over quickly.

    When Jesus returned and again found them asleep, he did not even bother to wake them or reprimand them. Perhaps Jesus had come to accept that this was a struggle that he had to face alone. There is a lesson in that for us as well. No matter how much we want someone to come along side and share our struggles, some struggles we must ultimately face alone.

    Just remember that Jesus really does understand EXACTLY how you feel and he faced it so that you could find victory IN HIM.

    The New Covenant in My Blood (Luke 22:20)

    So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, "Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look--the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let's be going. Look, my betrayer is here!" [Matthew 26:44-46 NLT]

    Something different happened the third time. First notice that Jesus accepted that it was his struggle to face alone. He had stopped looking to men to share the burden and was no longer angry or disappointed at men for their failure to do what man could not do. This was why Jesus had to face the struggle between the flesh and the spirit and win victory FOR MANKIND ... we were incapable of winning our own victory.

    To discover what happened the third time, we must look to another Gospel account of the event:
    • Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. [Luke 22:43-44 NLT]

    Another important lesson for all of us is that when we reach the point in a struggle where men cannot help us, God will send angels to strengthen us so that we can complete our journey and finish the race well. Here Jesus stopped looking to men to hold up his arms (as men held up the arms of Moses), and turned to God to give HIM the strength to run HIS race.

    An important aside, the stress required to cause the physical phenomenon of sweating blood is a medical fact, but it is usually fatal. One reason that Jesus had to struggle to overcome for us, is because we would not have survived even this struggle.

    The cross was not the first blood shed by the Savior for his people. The cross is just the climax on the road from Gethsemane to Pentecost. The first blood shed for us by Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. The place where the olives were crushed to obtain the precious oil contained within. The place where Jesus’ soul was being crushed to obtain the precious oil of the Holy Spirit that would anoint His Church on Pentecost.

    [a huge debt of gratitude goes out to Pastor Les Lynn @ Freedom Worship Center for his inspiration on this topic]
     
    #2 atpollard, Mar 8, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  3. Washad

    Washad Member

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    Thank you. What a timely word as there is a specific issue I have felt alone in. I have prayed for years for someone to come alongside. I have been angry and I have felt resigned to it. All I can say is all glory to God there is much wisdom and great comfort in this.
     
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  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think what Jesus really dreaded was having to endure for our sakes separation from the father while bearing our sins!
     
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  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Simply not true. The word of God does not teach any such thing.
    . . . ὡσεί . . .
     
    #5 37818, Mar 10, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  6. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    • "We read, that "he sweat as it were great drops of blood." Hence a few writers have supposed that the sweat was not actually blood, but had the appearance of it. That interpretation, however, has been rejected by most commentators, from Augustine downward, it is generally held that the words "as it were" do not only set forth likeness to blood, but signify that it was actually and literally blood. We find the same idiom used in the text-"We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father." Now, clearly, this does not mean that Christ was like the only-begotten of the Father, since he is really so. So that generally this expression of Holy Scripture sets forth, not a mere likeness to a thing, but the very thing itself. We believe, then, that Christ did really sweat blood. This phenomenon, though somewhat unusual, has been witnessed in other persons. There are several cases on record, some in the old medicine books of Galen, and others of more recent date, of persons who after long weakness, under fear of death have sweat blood." [A Sermon (No. 493) Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 8th, 1863, by the REV. C. H. SPURGEON At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.]

    • "That, in this agony, his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Sweat came in with sin, and was a branch of the curse, Gen. 3:19. And therefore, when Christ was made sin and a curse for us, he underwent a grievous sweat, that in the sweat of his face we might eat bread, and that he might sanctify and sweeten all our trials to us. There is some dispute among the critics whether this sweat is only compared to drops of blood, being much thicker than drops of sweat commonly are, the pores of the body being more than ordinarily opened, or whether real blood out of the capillary veins mingled with it, so that it was in colour like blood, and might truly be called a bloody sweat; the matter is not great. Some reckon this one of the times when Christ shed his blood for us, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Every pore was as it were a bleeding wound, and his blood stained all his raiment. This showed the travail of his soul. He was now abroad in the open air, in a cool season, upon the cold ground, far in the night, which, one would think, had been enough to strike in a sweat; yet now he breaks out into a sweat, which bespeaks the extremity of the agony he was in." [Commentary on Luke 22 by Matthew Henry]

    • "Once more, returning to His solitary spot, the surges rise higher, beat more tempestuously, and seem ready to overwhelm Him. To fortify Him for this, "there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven strengthening Him"--not to minister light or comfort (He was to have none of that, and they were not needed nor fitted to convey it), but purely to sustain and brace up sinking nature for a yet hotter and fiercer struggle. And now, He is "in an agony, and prays more earnestly"--even Christ's prayer, it seems, admitted of and now demanded such increase--"and His sweat was as it were great drops [literally, 'clots'] of blood falling down to the ground." What was this? Not His proper sacrificial offering, though essential to it. It was just the internal struggle, apparently hushing itself before, but now swelling up again, convulsing His whole inner man, and this so affecting His animal nature that the sweat oozed out from every pore in thick drops of blood, falling to the ground. It was just shuddering nature and indomitable will struggling together. But again the cry, If it must be, Thy will be done, issues from His lips, and all is over. "The bitterness of death is past." He has anticipated and rehearsed His final conflict, and won the victory--now on the theater of an invincible will, as then on the arena of the Cross. "I will suffer," is the grand result of Gethsemane: "It is finished" is the shout that bursts from the Cross. The Will without the Deed had been all in vain; but His work was consummated when He carried the now manifested Will into the palpable Deed, "by the which WILL we are sanctified THROUGH THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE FOR ALL" ( Hbr 10:10 )." [Commentary on Luke 22 by David Brown]
     
  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Ok. Most commentors are wrong. Or else the Greek word translated in Luke 23:44, ". . . as it were . . ." meaning throughout the NT some 21 times [KJV TR 34 times] "like" or "about," is wrongly used by Luke.
     
  8. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    How the word is used by Luke ... [all NASB]
    • [Luke 3:23] When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about[G5616] thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,
      • Was Jesus 30 years old or did Jesus just look like someone that was 30 years old?
    • [Luke 9:14] (For there were about[G5616] five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, "Have them sit down [to eat] in groups of about[G5616] fifty each." ...
      • Were the groups of fifty, or did they just look similar to groups of fifty?
    • [Luke 9:28] Some[G5616] eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
      • Was it 8 days or did it just feel like 8 days?
    • [Luke 22:41] And He withdrew from them about[G5616] a stone's throw, and He knelt down and [began] to pray, ...
      • Was the distance a stone's throw, or did it just seem like a stone's throw from their perspective?
    • [Luke 22:44] And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like[G5616] drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. ...
      • Were they drops of blood, did they just superficially resemble drops of blood in some way?
    • [Luke 22:59] After about[G5616] an hour had passed, another man [began] to insist, saying, "Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too."
      • Was it an hour, or just some unknown length of time ... perhaps a minute or perhaps a day?
    • [Luke 23:44] It was now about[G5616] the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,
      • Was it the sixth hour, or just sometime that superficially resembled the sixth hour?

    What hermeneutic will you employ?
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think there is a medical term known for when a person is experiencing such anguish and pressure upon them during a trial that the little veins under the skin can break and blood will actually come thru the skin pores!
     
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  10. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Hematidrosis
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Interesting that the Holy Spirit chose to use a medical Dr to record down for us what was happening physically to Jesus at that time!
     
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  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Approximate time is not an appearance like a thing. That Greek term is used for both time and things.
     
  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone cite a real medical case for such a condition? The Greek text in Luke 22:44 does not say the sweat had blood in it. It was in the light of a full moon being the 15th of that Jewish month. No doubt the drops of sweat looked like clots of blood in the dirt in the moon light.
     
  14. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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  15. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Sweat is a thin, clear liquid that forms tiny droplets. Blood is a thick, red liquid that clots into large drops.

    Why would anyone ever draw a comparison between the two if Jesus just sweat ... well sweat?
     
  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, so Luke lied. The fact of the text, the sweat on the gound in the moon light is said to look like clumps of blood.

    . . . ωσει like θρομβοι clots αιματος of blood καταβαινοντες falling down επι upon την the γην gound.
     
  17. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Luke said (by YOUR own translation) that the sweat fell like clots of blood.
    Have YOU ever seen sweat fall like clots of blood? (I never have).

    In any event, Luke was in no position to tell the truth or lie about anything ... Luke was not in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus, Peter, James and John to see the sweat fall. Therefore Luke is just faithfully reporting the eyewitness testimony of others (likely John in this case). As a physician, Luke was likely aware that it was possible to sweat actual blood since it was recorded in the medical literature he would have studied. As a non-medical person, such an event would likely have been extraordinary to whoever witnessed it and told Luke what they saw.

    However, I was also not there to know definitively what happened.
     
  18. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Either what was written is true or it is false. The Greek word meaning "like" was used in that text.
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    What is the idea of the "shedding of blood?" Is it not that life is in the blood, and therefore the shedding of blood results in the loss of life? Christ did not just shed His blood, but He laid down His life. The Lamb of God died on the cross, and that substitutionary sacrifice provided the ransom for all, and the salvation for those whose faith in Christ God credits as righteousness. Believers, therefore beg you "Be reconciled to God" because Christ shed His blood for all, but you must access that gift through faith, Romans 5:1-2.
     
  20. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    You've never seen Christ either but you believe in Him because of the same book. If you can't believe all of it why believe at all?
    MB
     
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