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Can I have a different route, please?

We continue our sermon series entitled ‘The Road to Easter’. Service led by Nathan Gordon. Preaching from Nathan Gordon.

Sermon Notes

The Situation

The journey to Easter continues full steam ahead, and today we focus on a pivotal moment before Jesus’ crucifixion. The Garden of Gethsemane would provide a recluse for Jesus and his disciples on many occasions; however, the final visit would see Jesus agonise through an intense prayer concerning the task ahead of being crucified on the cross.

This morning, we will examine Jesus’ prayer in greater detail, and strive to incorporate the lessons he demonstrated in his prayer.

The Bible is the story of two gardens. Eden and Gethsemane. In the first, Adam took a fall. In the second, Jesus took a stand.

 M Lucado

The Complication ~
Humanity says turn left; Divinity says turn right (Matt 26:38-40)

  • Jesus, being fully human and divine, was able to comprehend the difficulty of bringing the flesh under subjection to God’s will. (See Hebrews 4:15)
  • The Apostle Paul wrestled with the human flesh versus the leading of the Holy Spirit. (See Romans 7:14-25)
  • Jesus did not attempt to escape his mission, but rather expressed his heart to his Father.

Challenge ~ Sometimes obeying the word of God and the divine plan can cause an internal battle within the human flesh. We may seek to go in another direction, but through the Holy Spirit, prayer and fasting we can bring the flesh under subjection to the will of God.

The Resolution ~
Are you praying with a pencil or permanent marker? (Matt 26:39, 42 & 44)

  • Matthew records that Jesus prayed to the Father on three occasions.
  • On each occasion, Jesus expressed his desire from his human nature but left space for the Father to have the ultimate say.
  • There is symmetry with the Lord’s prayer in Matthew chapter 6. “Your kingdom come, your will be done”.
  • Christians often quote Psalm 37:4 but often focus on the second clause of the verse. Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Challenge ~ We can have great plans for our lives and think we know what’s best for our futures. In our prayers, we should always strive to leave room for God to direct our path. Even if we are certain we are going in the right direction, have you prayed let your will be done?

The Celebration ~
The will of God will never lead you down the wrong path. (Matt 26:45-46)

  • The right path does not necessarily mean it will be an easy path.
  • Soon after Jesus prayed three times in the garden, he would face betrayal by his friend and arrest by the religious authorities.
  • However, the path Jesus walked would ultimately lead to the greatest gift of salvation freely available to all who would trust in Him.

Challenge ~ Do you know what God is calling you to do? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the weight of the call? If yes, then trust God and trust the process. Remember, God has a great plan for all of our lives, and His purpose can be achieved if we trust and obey Him.

Questions

  1. In the most intense moment of Jesus’ earthly life, he turned to His Father in prayer. Discuss how prayer can offer solace and hope in the most challenging seasons of our lives?
  2. What did Jesus model for us in his Garden of Gethsemane prayer?
  3. “The purpose of prayer is not to get what I want, but to get my heart into alignment with what God wants.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, what similarities do you see between Paul’s and Jesus’ prayer?
  5. Have you ever experienced the Lord giving you a clear no in your prayer request, how did you feel and what lessons did you learn?
  6. Read Matt 26:41 – how do we navigate the weak flesh and the willing spirit in our daily lives and walks with the Lord?

Service Details

Sermon Title: Dealing with Betrayal
Bible Reading: Matthew 26:36-46
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Nathan Gordon

Service Audio here

View Service Video here

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