Matthew 26:36-42 – If It Be Possible

Matthew 26:36-42
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, 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.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 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.

Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us that “The LORD our God is one LORD”.  While a Triune Godhead may not be 1 in number, they most certainly must be 1 in purpose and harmony.  That means if God the Father willed that God the Son die for the sins of mankind (John 3:16), then God the Son must have been of the same will.  Before the foundations of the universe were laid, Jesus as God made that choice (1 Peter 1:20); but when He got to the garden of Gethsemane as a Man, He asked if there was any way possible to avoid it (v.39).  Why did He make such a request?  In Heaven, God would have had complete, omniscient knowledge of pain and suffering, but only as a Man could the Lord truly experience those things.  That’s why Hebrews 2:10 tells us that Jesus was made complete through suffering and why Hebrews 4:15 tells us that He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.  That our Creator, with full knowledge of pain and suffering, would choose to endure such agony for us is a truth big enough to light the world on fire. But that same Creator choosing to go through with it after He had felt pain and suffering- what more can be said?  “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12)

Psalm 103:14 – Worms and Dust

Psalm 99:2
The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.

Job 25:5-6
 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Psalm 103:14
 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

-Never lose sight of what we all really are- God doesn’t.  God is always fully aware that we are all reprobate worms that deserve an eternity in Hell.  The fact that God is high and holy and we are all dust and ashes makes it all the more amazing that He treats us the way He does.  Be careful not to think anything of yourself and never try to make anything of yourself.  Seek God and let Him give your life meaning and worth.

Ezekiel 33:29 – Then shall they know…

Ezekiel 33:29
Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

-The Lord pronounces judgment on His people here because of their severe wickedness.  Since Israel refused to recognize the Lord when He blessed them, He promises that they will know Him when He exercises His judgment.  What does that mean when a culture cannot identify God with judgment?  We live in such a culture; a culture that asks, if God is real, how can He allow bad things to happen?  What most cannot see is that God does not simply allow either good or bad, rather He is personally responsible for sending both the good and the bad.  If the people cannot see God in His merciful kindness or His holy judgments on this side, then the people are destined only see Him at the last judgment.  Make no mistake; every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, and every heart will know and understand that the Lord is real and there is no other.  (Philippians 2:10-11, Isaiah 45:5)

Jeremiah 23:1-2 – Pastors That Destroy

Jeremiah 23:1-2
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:15
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

-The word “pastor” is referenced 9 times in scripture, in a full 6 of those instances, the Lord is rebuking wicked behavior.  That means that only 1/3 of the pastor’s cited in the Bible are performing the Lord’s work.  If this is true in the Bible, do you think it’s any less true in the world today?  We are in the presence of many who call themselves pastors and preachers who couldn’t be any further from the Lord’s path.  Don’t take someone at their word simply because they claim such an honorable title, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).  No one gets a free pass to eternity because they accidentally followed the wrong voice; those are in fact made “twofold more the child of hell” than those who led them astray (Matthew 23:15).  Church is great, Pastors are great, but ultimately our salvation is between each of us and the Lord.  Likewise, God’s word is the final arbiter of what is true and what is false, what should be heard and what should be ignored.  Finally, to those “pastors” so called who walk contrary to the Bible, the Lord is displeased with any who abuse power, He is sorely displeased with those who would abuse HIS power.  Repent before it is too late.  Repent before you stand before the Lord in judgment and the woe from Jeremiah 23:1 is imputed to you personally.

Job 23:8-10 – He Knoweth The Way That I Take

Job 23:8-10
 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

-If you’ve read or heard the story of Job, you know that he was taken about as far down as anyone can go.  Here in chapter 23 he states that no matter where he looks, he cannot find the Lord.  He knows that the Lord is working, but still cannot see Him.  This is important because of Job’s statement in verse 10– Job tells us that the Lord knows where Job is.  Our security is not based on our ability to see the Lord, but rather on the Lord’s ability to see us.  There can easily come a day where we get too far ahead or fall to far behind the Lord; even then He still sees us.  Even if such a day came that we no longer wished Him to look after us- “yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

Luke 19:1-6 – He Sought To See Jesus

Luke 19:1-6
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

-Most of us know the story of Zacchaeus who climbed a tree because he wanted to see Jesus.  Jesus came to Zacchaeus and changed his life all because He stopped and looked up to see who was looking for Him.  How often do we take time out of our busy days to look for God’s plan in our lives?  We can’t possibly be as busy as God and yet many of us can’t be bothered to stop and look around; we put our heads down and barrel through our to-do lists and all the while miss out on things of eternal merit.  Combat this tendency by remembering three questions:  1) Where would Zacchaeus be right now if Jesus hadn’t taken the time to look up?  2) Where would we all be right now if God hadn’t taken the time to look at humanity?  3) What happens to us if we aren’t looking when the Lord passes our way?

Romans 8:34 – It is Christ That Died

Romans 8:34
 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

-Jesus Christ paid with blood for the right to judge the whole Earth.  Instead of using that authority to condemn us all, He instead pleads on our behalf that we be absolved from our crimes.  Romans 8:1 tells us that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  There can be no condemnation for those that are saved because who else could condemn us but Christ?  If others try, Christ will silence them with His own authority.  As for the Lord Himself, He came not to destroy our lives, but to save them. (Luke 9:56)

Isaiah 52:3 – Sold for Sin

Isaiah 52:3
 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

-If we were separated from God due to a certain financial debt, the remedy would be easy; simply get together enough money to pay off the debt.  Whether or not any of us could actually get enough money together is another matter; still the solution would be straightforward.  But the Bible tells us that we were not sold for money, but rather we sold ourselves because of our sins (Isaiah 50:1).  How do you buy back something that was sold for sin?  We know that money won’t work because Isaiah prophesied in chapter 52 that money would not be involved.  Hebrews 10:4 tells us that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”  In 1 Peter 3:18, we learn that “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”, and from there we learn the nature of the transaction that had to occur- “the just for the unjust”.  The only way to buy back the sinful is with the sinless and that is why Christ had to suffer; since “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20), “the Holy One and the Just” (Acts 3:14) had to come from Heaven.

Exodus 3:15 – The Lord God of Your Fathers

Exodus 3:15
 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

-When it came to making the Hebrew people understand which God had sent Moses, the Lord wanted it made clear that He was the same God whom their fathers had served.  This is His memorial not just for all the Hebrew, but to all generations.  He has been God since before any of us were born; as our fathers and grandfathers walked the earth throughout history, God has always been God.  More than that, the Bible teaches that God is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)  Just think about all of the goodness and mercy that God has shown to our ancestors.  All of our family lines have probably faced times where they would have been wiped out if not for God’s grace and protection.  So don’t forget God’s memorial to all generations; He was more than good enough for our fathers and, no matter how much better or smarter we may think we are, He is more than good enough for us too.

John 13:21, 26-27 – After The Sop

John 13:21, 26-27
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

-Notice the finality in the phrase “after the sop”.  This is when Satan entered Judas and he set off down the path that would lead to his betrayal of God Himself (Luke 22) and eventual suicide. (Matthew 27) We would all do well to look out for “sop” moments in our own lives.  Moments where we step through a door and cannot step back.  The path we take can have major and sometimes disastrous consequences for us and those around us.  The Bible teaches us, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)