Have You Knelt At Gethsemane?
Matthew 26:36-46 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt. And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh He to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me.
The Garden of Gethsemane was an olive orchard, with its oil press, which lay over the brook Kidron, on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. It was a secluded retreat where Jesus often went with his disciples, and where he agonized in prayer before his betrayal by Judas. (Thompson Chain Reference Bible)
Gethsemane: a garden or grove in the valley at the foot of the Mount of Olives, over against Jerusalem, to which our Savior sometimes retired, and in which he endured his agony, and was betrayed by Judas, Mt 26:36-57. Early tradition locates Gethsemane near the base of Mount Olivet, beyond the brook Kidron. The place now enclosed by a low stone wall may be but a part of the original “garden.” It is about fifty-two yards square, and contains eight aged olive-trees, whose roots in many places project above the ground and are protected by heaps of stones. Here, or at most not far off, the Savior endured that unspeakable “agony and bloody sweat” so nearly connected with his expiatory death; and here in deep submission he mingled and closed his prayers for relief with their cry, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” From this garden he could readily see the crowd of men “with lanterns and torches” emerging from the city gate, and hastening, under the guidance of Judas, to seize him. It is the spot which the Christian visitor at Jerusalem first seeks out, and where he lingers longest and last ere he turns homeward. A recent traveler, Professor Hackett, passing by Gethsemane one day, saw a shepherd in the act of shearing a sheep. The animal lay on the ground, with its feet tied, the man’s knee pressed rudely against its side, while it seemed as if every movement of the shears would lacerate its flesh; yet during the whole, it struggled not and opened not its mouth– a touching memento, upon that sacred spot, of the Lamb of God, Isa 53:7. (American Tract Society Dictionary)
What can we learn from this account in Scriptures of our Lord’s spiritual victory in the Garden of Gethsemane:
I. The Olive, the Christian
A. The fruit of the olive-tree
1. This tree yielded oil which was highly valued.
2. The olive was among the most abundant and characteristic vegetation of Judea. The olive grows from 20 to 40 feet high. In general appearance it resembles the apple tree; in leaves and stems, the willow. The flowers are white and appear in June, The fruit is like a plum in shape and size, and at first is green, but gradually becomes purple, and even black, with a hard stony kernel, and is remarkable from the outer fleshy part being that in which much oil is lodged.
B. Paul’s parable of the olive tree
Romans 11:13-17 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
1. Gentiles, wild olives grafted into the olive tree of the gospel of grace.
2. Vs 17, partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
C. We have been grafted into the Holy Olive Tree of God’s grace and God now expects some OLIVES; He expects some fruit!
D. Psalm 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
E. Just as olives were such an abundant and important commodity to the livelihood of Israel, Christians need to be the same:
1. Isaiah 27:6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
2. Hosea 10:1-2 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images.
F. Harvesting the olive:
1. The fruit ripens from August to September. It is sometimes eaten green, but its chief value is in its oil.
2. The fruit was sometimes harvested by beating rods among the branches of fruit to knock them down.
3. Deuteronomy 24:20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
4. This speaks to us of the oftentimes necessary chastening of God’s rod:
a) Hebrews 12:6-11 For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he which the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
b) We need to fear God’s chastening hand and live with a mind in conscience of it!
c) Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom.
II. The Press, the Consecration
A. Turn to Matthew 26:36; Gethsemane literally means oil press and is derived from the Hebrew word gatmeaning press and shemen which means oil.
B. Give handout of oil-press (Not included online)
C. This olive press of our Lord was to us a great example of his Consecration: not My will, but Thine be done!, vs 39, 42.
D. The press is total submission to do the Father’s will for your life; do you know what that is?
1. Are we only doing what we want to do, or have we ever knelt at Gethsemane?
2. Illustration: my testimony of surrender.
E. Surrender: husband, wife, child, young person.
F. The press is where you are willing to spend and be spent. 2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
G. Acts 21:13-14 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Have you ever died to yourself; Have you ever knelt at Gethsemane?
Have you ever allowed yourself to be placed in the PRESS OF GOD’S PERFECT WILL?
BEFORE THE CROSS YOU HAVE TO KNEEL LIKE CHRIST AT GETHSEMANE .
THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE MOST CHRISTIANS WON’T KNEEL AND THEY MISS OUT ON THE WHOLE JOY OF THE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE!
HERE IS A SPECIAL JOY AND STRENGTH LIKE NO OTHER: Luke 22:40-43 And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
WHEN WE SHOULD BE KNEELING IN TOTAL SUBMISSION TO GOD MOST OF US ARE SLEEPING AT GETHSEMANE LIKE THE DISCIPLES!
III. The Oil, the Cross
A. Turn to Matthew 26:45, After kneeling at Gethsemane our Lord allowed Himself to be crushed and bruised that the Holy Oil of Salvation would flow freely for all who would partake!
B. Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
C. You must kneel at Gethsemane, be pressed in the olive press to see the Holy Anointing Oil for service.
1. 1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
2. We wonder why we see no result and have not God’s power upon us! NO OIL!
3. Joel 1:10 Thefield is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. (feeble, losing strength)
D. Exodus 27:20-21 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
HAVE YOU EVER KNELT AT GETHSEMANE?
YOU WON’T EVER PICK UP YOUR CROSS IF YOU WON’T KNEEL AT GETHSEMANE!
WILL YOU KNEEL THERE TONIGHT?
Sermon Written by David Garner, 2004.
Used with permission.