Matthew 26; Thoughts on Gethsemane

tampa-bay-016I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

Luke 22:43 says, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” In His darkest hour his friends let Him down and one even betrayed Him, but Jesus was strengthened by an angel. I believe that we can have every advantage that Jesus had. If our friends let us down God will send us an angel or help us Himself if He needs to. As a matter of fact, check this out from The Great Controversy page 560.  “He [God] would sooner send every angel out of Heaven to protect his people, than leave one soul that trusts in him to be overcome by Satan.”  Imagine it. The Father sent an angel to aid the Son of God but will empty all of heaven of every single angel and send them to our aid in time of need. Why depend on the weak arm of man?

 

When Jesus’ friends let Him down and fell asleep when He needed them the most, instead of holding a grudge He excused their weakness when He said, “the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.”  Matthew 26:41. In His darkest hour He looked to heaven and not to man. He was not disappointed in man because He did not expect anything from man. Since He did not expect too much He was not hurt too much by them and even referred to Judas in Matthew 26:50 as His Friend! By calling Judas His friend it shows us Jesus did not demand much at all from His friends while He gave all of Himself.

 

Mark 14:33 says Jesus became “sore amazed.”  You become amazed when you realize something you did not before. This shows us the true humanity of Jesus and that He was amazed as He experienced something He had never known before-the wrath of God-abandonment. In Gethsemane Jesus was facing more than a six hour pain endurance marathon on the cross. He was facing abandonment. The Desire of Ages brings this home for us on page 753, “Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.”   

 

This Gospel, not the six hour pain endurance marathon gospel, but the gospel of Jesus being willing to say goodbye to life forever to save us shall be preached in all the world before He returns. In Revelation 14 the first angel has the everlasting gospel, not the six hour pain endurance marathon gospel, but the everlasting gospel to give to the whole world! As Seventh-day Adventists lets not let anything distract us from taking this gospel to the world!

 

This gospel will heal lives and mend hearts and change lives for eternity. It already has. Joseph saw this gospel when he told his brothers that he forgave them even though they betrayed him and caused him to suffer because it led to their salvation and the salvation of others! The gospel healed Joseph’s relationship with his brothers when the self sacrificing gospel was manifested in Joseph. Moses saw the goodness and mercy of this gospel and reflected it when he offered to have his name blotted out of the book of life to save others. This gospel was manifested in a thirteen year old Amish girl who during a violent siege of her school asked to be shot first hoping to buy time for the rescue of the others.  Her request was granted. In Revelation 15 this gospel is manifested in a large group who sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. They share the experience of Moses and Jesus in coveting the salvation of others more than they covet their own salvation.

 

Jesus was more than natural when He gave His life for those who let Him down and betrayed Him. He was supernatural. This gospel, not the six hour pain endurance marathon gospel, but this gospel is supernatural. Is it in you? Next time a friend lets you down or even betrays you do more than what comes natural. Do the supernatural. Let Jesus manifest Himself in you just as He was manifested in Joseph, Moses, Marion Fisher the Amish girl, and a whole host of people in Revelation 15.  If you do the supernatural all heaven will be on your side, and if need be every angel will be by your side, and you will heal hearts, mend lives, and change people for all eternity.

 

Your Christian Servant,

William

 

You can find more of my studies and stories at In Light Of The Cross.

The Fruit of the Spirit, Lesson 4

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Here are my thoughts on this week’s SS Lesson.

Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.  Isaiah 26:3

 

Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.  Psalms 37:37

Real peace does not come from being right with the world. It comes from being right with God. Peace of mind is not knowing that you have money in the bank. It is knowing no matter what, God will take care of all your needs. Peace is not knowing that you will live through the storm. Peace is knowing even if you die in the storm, God has promised you eternal life. Peace is Ellen Harmon, an 18 year old girl explaining why she was not terrified during a storm at sea when she said, “If my work for God is over I might as well rest at the bottom of this sea as anywhere else, but if my work is not over, not all the water in all the sea will be able to drown me.” (Life Sketches, p. 240) Peace is Marion Fisher, a 13 year old Amish girl telling a deranged gunman “shoot me first” so that help would arrive in time for the other victims. Peace is an elderly man I was studying with this summer who laid on his deathbed with a smile on his face saying “I’m ready to meet Jesus.” Peace is my 100 year old grandmother’s last words to my mother, “I will see you in heaven.” Peace is Jesus sleeping in a boat during a storm at sea. (Matthew 8:25)

Peace is not the absence of the storm, it is the absence of the fear of the storm. Peace is not the absence of death, it the absence of the fear of death. Peace is not the absence of worldly turmoil, it is the presence of God in the turmoil. Peace is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here is one of my favorite quotes on peace from the Spirit of Prophecy:

  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27. 

     Before our Lord went to His agony on the cross He made His will. He had no silver or gold or houses to leave His disciples. He was a poor man, as far as earthly possessions were concerned. Few in Jerusalem were so poor as He. But He left His disciples a richer gift than any earthly monarch could bestow on his subjects. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you,” He said. . . . He left them the peace which had been His during His life on the earth, which had been with Him amid poverty, buffeting, and persecution, and which was to be with Him during His agony in Gethsemane and on the cruel cross. 

     The Saviour’s life on this earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. . . . No storm of satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “My peace I give unto you.” 

     Those who take Christ at His word and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).   It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is alive we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when self is dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart.

     When we receive Christ into the soul as an abiding guest, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ, received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. . . . The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence all around.  {Heavenly Places, p. 249} 

You can find more studies and devotionals at In Light of the Cross.