Series Where Jesus Walked
Title: Just Keep Moving
Thursday March 8, 2012
“Just keep moving”. That’s what my cardiologist friend told me a few years ago. You get older and you need to look for ways to keep moving to stay healthy. Now there’s a knew study out that proves my friend the cardiologist was right.
Just Keep Moving. That’s what my doctor friend says. His own elderly mother was living a sedentary life and came to visit. He started walking with her a little bit and then a little more every day. After two weeks, she had more stamina, was more alert, and enjoying life more. Now a study out of the University of Missouri with a group of healthy active young adults confirms my cardiologist friend’s theory. The test group stopped walking more than 10-thousand steps a day. In fact after a few days of less than 5-thousand steps daily, blood sugar levels started going wacky and the point was made – just keep moving. Now take that spiritually. When we don’t keep moving – praying, asking, seeking the Lord every day, our spiritual lives become wacky. Meet up with Jesus every day and live. But we live because Jesus died. He died for us. He died on a cross to set us free. Welcome to HT, from Israel, I’m CM in Jerusalem sharing the GS that’s all about Jesus and a program called “Just Keep Moving”. In a few minutes I want you from an Israeli tour guide, talking about an olive press and how that fits our program today.
First, though, wouldn’t it be amazing to worship with the early church and first century Christians, to sing praises with those who knew him face to face. Worship that transcends this generations and reaches down to the roots of our faith. That’s The Odes … the earliest hymns of the Christian church outside of the New Testament. You can have The Odes project as our thank for your gift to HT. Just call us after the program at 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN. Or go to our website haventoday.org. That’s haventoday.org. HT opens with The Odes Project …
SONG – From the East to the West - The Odes
One of the oldest hymns of the Christian faith from The Odes Project – from the East to the West.
Here in Israel, one of the things you find a lot of are olive trees. And on the Mount of Olives, there’s still a grove, with some of the trees dating back to the time of Christ. They are standing there with their great gnarled trunks, like silent witnesses that happened that night in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus came under such pressure, that his sweat was like great drops of blood. I want you to hear, a friend of mine, Israeli tour guide Yuval Shemesh describe the significance of an olive press.
Yuval sound clip
What an image of pressure, the pressure that Jesus endured as he prayed in the Graden of Gethsamene. Let me read you the account from Matthew 26:30-50
Matt. 26:30 ¶ When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.a
Matt. 26:31 ¶ Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me,a for it is written:
¶ “ ‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’a b
Matt. 26:32 ¶ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”a
Matt. 26:33 ¶ Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
Matt. 26:34 ¶ “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”a
Matt. 26:35 ¶ But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you,a I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Matt. 26:36 ¶ Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Matt. 26:37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedeea along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Matt. 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrowa to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”b
Matt. 26:39 ¶ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cupa be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”b
Matt. 26:40 ¶ Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with mea for one hour?” he asked Peter.
Matt. 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.a The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matt. 26:42 ¶ He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”a
Matt. 26:43 ¶ When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
Matt. 26:44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Matt. 26:45 ¶ Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the houra has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
Matt. 26:46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Matt. 26:47 ¶ While he was still speaking, Judas,a one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
Matt. 26:48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”
Matt. 26:49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!”a and kissed him.
Matt. 26:50 ¶ Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”a a
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
Jesus was pressed in a way that none of us can ever imagine.
Jesus took his three best friends with him and he confided to them that his soul was “overwhelmed to the point of death.”
Jesus entered into a deep darkness of soul – we would call it depression. The vision he had had earlier of the glory and the victory of the cross were gone. His understanding of his purpose had been taken away.
He was “sorrowful and troubled.” The word “troubled” in Greek is a strong word. It means terrible confusion, disorientation. Those are Matthew’s words. Mark says Jesus began to be “horrified.” That Greek word is used to describe someone who’s overwhelmed, in horrible anguish, because something terrible is going to happen.
Why now? Why is this hitting Jesus now?
Jesus has known all along what his Father wanted him to do. It’s not like he’s realizing for the first time that he’s been sent to take away the sin and sorrow and suffering of the world. He knew it was all going to be laid on him.
On the way to the garden that night, he’d quoted from Isaiah 53 and applied it to himself. He said, (Luke 22:37) “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
But Now the full force of it is coming down on him. He’s looking at the cup he’s going to drink. He’s seeing it for what it is. All the horror of it is hitting him. It causes so much distress that he sweats great drops of blood.
The weight is so heavy it’s crushing the life out of him.
He tells Peter, James and John, to stay right there and stay awake, close by, and keep praying.
Then, he walks a few steps and falls with his face to the ground and cries out, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Is Jesus changing his mind?
No – what we’re witnessing is the greatest obedience to God any man ever offered. This is the obedience of the Son of God to his Father in Heaven, and it’s the obedience of the last Adam who is going to succeed where the first Adam failed.
Hebrews tells us he had to “learn obedience.”
That doesn’t mean he has to learn how to be obedient. He was always perfectly obedient to his Father. It means he’s learning what his obedience is going to cost. More than any man he understands the price of obedience because no man was ever asked to do what his Father asked him to do.
And he’s learning the obedience of willing his Father’s will over his own will. This is the first time Jesus experienced what it was like to have a will that was pulling him away from his Father’s will.
And he doesn’t waver for a moment. In his first cry he says – “I will your will, Father, not mine.” He fights in prayer to know his Father’s will and to make it his will. And he wins.
Jesus actual words to his Father were, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me”.
What does he mean? Of course it’s possible for Jesus not to die. He can just chose not to. What he wants to know is: Is it possible for salvation to come some other way, and if so, please take this cup away.
Jesus is asking if there’s another way for salvation to come to the world.
“But if not, if it’s not possible, he says, “then I will what you will. I want your will to be done. I will drink the cup.”
If we’re going to understand the battle Jesus is in, we have to understand the cup. What is this cup? It’s not just the pain of a terrible death – as horrible and shameful as crucifixion was, Jesus isn’t sweating blood over being nailed to the cross.
“Cup” is God’s word for his judgment and punishment on sin.
Psa. 75:8 says “In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.”
That’s what Jesus is going to have to drink. First he’s going “to become sin.” He’s going to take the sin of the world, something completely foreign to him, something so horrifying that his blood comes through his pores from the internal pressure he feels at the sight of it.
He’s going to absorb it all into himself. Your sin. My sin.
And then he’s going to drink the cup of God’s Holy righteous judgment against that sin down to the dregs. Drink is a powerful word. It means he’s going to fully experience in himself all the Holy rejecting, anger of God against sin.
Matthew tells us that Jesus prays three times. The last two times he prays:
Matt. 26:42 “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
The first time he said, “If possible, NO!” The last two times he says, “If not possible then -- Yes.”
Something has shifted in his soul – he’s been strengthened. He’s seeing that it’s not possible for this horrifying cup to be taken away from him.
What happens between his first prayer and the second and third prayers to change him? Mark tells us an angel appears and strengthens him.
But there’s something else. He goes back and finds his disciples asleep. He sees how helpless and sinful they are.
After each of his prayers, Jesus goes back and finds them asleep. He wakes them up and tells them to pray and then he says, not so much to them, but almost as if he’s talking to himself, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
He sees that if he doesn’t drink the cup then the ones he loves will have to drink it.
And he sees that their flesh will continue to be weak unless he takes it down to the grave and breaks the grip of sin.
I think Jesus looks at the sin and weakness of the ones he loves and then goes back and prays, “If it’s not possible for them to be saved unless I drink it, then yes, I will drink the cup.”
It’s his love for them – for us – that strengthens him.
He sees that there’s no other way. It’s his Father’s will that he drink our cup for us because there’s no other way for us to be saved.
And so -- the perfectly obedient Son of God, rises up from prayer with the “yes” in his soul. He will do his Father’s will as he has always done his Father’s will. And he will do it because he loves us and because this is the only way we can be saved.
After he prayed the third time, Matt. 26:46 says “he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Jesus is ready. He knows what has to be done. He’s defeated temptation. He’s prayed it through and he’s resolved to drink the cup.
And you never see him waver for a moment after that. He’s like a lamb being led to the slaughter without a word of protest or a single resistance.
Revelation 5:9 “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
The worthy one has broken the seal. There will be a new heavens and new earth because the last Adam has triumphed.
Revelation 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
SONG – I Stretched Out My Hand to the Lord – Fernando Ortega – The Odes
PRAYER if needed,
Another song if needed Keep On Walking – The Odes (just a little bit)
HT and Just Keep Moving on a series coming from Israel.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to worship with the early church and first century Christians, to sing praises with those who knew him face to face. Worship that transcends this generations and reaches down to the roots of our faith. That’s The Odes … the earliest hymns of the Christian church outside of the New Testament. You can have The Odes project as our thank for your gift to HT. Just call us after the program at 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN. Or go to our website haventoday.org. That’s haventoday.org.
The Odes Project
For a gift of any amount
The songs of praise and worship the early church sang had been lost to history...Until Now!The Odes Project is a collection of new music set to lyrics of Christian worship adapted from an ancient manuscript. It's not just the style of...
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Mark - Book & CD (Combo Pack)
For a gift of $30.00 or more
In his newest CD, Michael Card gives new meaning to the familiar words of Jesus in a collection of songs inspired by the Gospel of Mark. In this book, Michael Card provides a lively tour of the Gospel of...
[Get It Now]