“The Lord Is Preparing A Dwelling Place For His Bride…He Will Not Leave It Unoccupied!”

“The Lord Is Preparing A Dwelling Place For His Bride...He Will Not Leave It Unoccupied!”

In this study we look at:
-The Jewish Wedding connection
-The Maranatha Life
-Be Bold in our witnessing while He is away
-We all have a niche in God’s plan which only we can fill
-Our unique niche is tailored to our unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses
-Examination of the 12 (part 1)
-John chapter 12
-Jesus’ final hours before the cross
-A Christ-like prayer
-It’s ok to feel pain in testing – but we submit and carry on!


Week ending in: 05/02/2021

Before we continue in our study of the Rapture, let’s recap a little from the previous lessons. We looked at the message: Be watchful, be alert, and be bold, but so far we have emphasized the first two commands. Now we will look at the third part – Be BOLD!

We have been talking about the last days leading up to the Rapture and showing that it is a different event compared to the second coming of our Lord. Deacon John, Samantha and Pastor Ken have done a great job pointing out principles that are leading us somewhere and where would that be? To better know TLJC, and understand His plan for us in this current dispensation, the Church Age.

He has left to prepare a place for His bride, following the traditional Jewish wedding as practiced by the Jews of Galilee. The Lord is faithful, and if we are faithful in learning and applying His Word and living in His promises, we will have confidence in the knowledge that we are disciples of His, Children of God, and His symbolic bride. Now I ask you, would such a person believe that our same Lord and Savior, who set aside the use of His divine powers for His own purposes, and lived in God’s predesigned plan as a man, was rejected, abused, and even died as a man, for the joy set before Him – US – really then abandon His beloved bride to suffer God’s wrath along with those who have repeatedly refused to acknowledge Him through faith? Why go through all that just to abandon us to the same fate as those who hate Him? God forbid! It is our goal through this teaching to ensure that you are confident in the hope of our Lord’s impeccable character and immutable promises so that you can endure these troubling times as one who knows their future is secure, established in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4)

I. The Jewish Wedding Connection

John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” 

“CHUPPAH”

In the Galilean wedding tradition, after the groom’s father had chosen a bride for him, the bride consented (God does not violate our free will!), the dowry was negotiated, and everything was agreed upon and settled, in the final part of the wedding, the groom went back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber, called a chuppah. It meant building on to the family’s house, preparing a space for his bride, to live with him. The Bridegroom will not forsake His bride the Church! Note that the bride could only upgrade to a better home. Rabbis were called in to check it. When the time came, the father gave permission to his son (His Son!) to fetch his bride. The groom never knew the day or the time.

Mark 13:32 “ But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

“NISUIN”

Then the groom left with an escort, carrying an “aperion” to lift the bride, and carry her away to her new home. Also, the escort had ‘trump’ aka trumpet players to announced the arrival of the groom in the middle of the night. Jesus will come to Rapture us away, meeting us in the clouds, and carrying us to our new home. The bride had to be alert at all time. She knew he would come during the night, and she needed enough oil for her lamp.

Mat 25:13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh.”

I Cor 15:52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.

Then bride and groom go into the marriage chamber to consummate the marriage. The groom’s father will close the door behind them. When they appear after seven days, the world gets to see the bride and rejoice with the groom. Jesus will marry His bride at the time of the Rapture.  Every Galilean wedding lasted seven days, but that of a king lasted seven years. At the same time, the earth will go through indignation. After 7 years, the bride and he groom appear before all, having been away in the inner chamber during the 7 years. This represents the second advent.

1 Kings 22:25 “And Micaiah said, behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.”

If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you should have no fear when you see the turmoil of the world! Whatever we must face as believers during this time of maximum revolt against God, we ought to face with the full confidence that WE ARE HIS BRIDE whom He laid His life down for – we are the joy which was set before Him! He will never leave or forsake us. This world and body are not our “forever home”’ but merely a temporary one. Our Lord is right now preparing our chuppah, our permanent heavenly home, and we will receive an imperishable body as we learned last time!

Mat 24:6-10 And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.

Mat 24:9-12 “Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false teachers will rise up and mislead many people.”

But remember the words of Paul! Know this!

1 Cor 15:35-38 “But someone will say [insincerely, mockingly], “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.”

1 Cor 15:42-44 “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Pe 5:10-11After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

Jam 5:8 “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts [PMAOBD], for the coming of the Lord is near.

II. Maranatha: Early Church Greeting Had An Important Meaning

Now, One the strongest cases one can make for the early Church expecting an imminent return of Christ is to note their use of the word Maranatha, which was used as a greeting in those days. When believers gathered or parted, they did not say “hello” or “goodbye”; they would say “Maranatha!”

I have encountered some writings that say Maranatha is Hebrew and Greek, but it is actually an Aramaic expression. In fact, it is made up of three Aramaic words: Mar, which means “Lord”; ana, which means “our”; and tha, which means “come.”

So, when you put it together, Maranatha means “Our Lord, come”. It perfectly conveys the concept that the Lord could come at any moment. Maranatha is used once in the Bible by Paul as part of a curse. In 1 Cor 16:22, Paul said, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” The word “Anathema” means “banned,” so Paul was saying, “Let him be banned from our Lord’s coming.” Wow!

The interesting thing about maranatha is that it comes in the form of a petition. When a Christian in the early Church would make this statement, he was actually petitioning the Lord to come. This obviously implies the belief that it was possible for Jesus to answer the appeal.

If members of the first-century Church believed that certain events needed to take place before the Savior could return, they would have been silly to greet each other with “Maranatha.” They lived nearly 2,000 years ago, and yet they seem to have had a deeper awareness of imminence than many of today’s Christians.

The last day warning signs we read/study are indicate a short-term countdown. We as Christians need to remain on high alert; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – Live out your Faith In Christ!

So as these days get tougher, tougher, tougher as we are told they will, PERSEVERE!

What can mere man do to me, persecute, ostracize, kill me …

Be Bold – share in the sufferings of Christ,

1Pe 4:16-17, “but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

We must be lights in the darkness, salt to the earth, and we must do it now!! Just as Our great commander and Lord Jesus Christ states in


Mat 28:19-20-19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

III. Jesus Has A Place For All Believers In His Plan – But We Must Pick Up The Cross

Matthew notes that the positions of honor are already designated by God the Father (Mat 20:23).

We have seen how He chose Samson (Jdg 13:2–5) and John the Baptist (Lk 1:5–17) before they were born.

 

We know that He chooses who will be saved (Eph 1:4).

 

Jesus specifically chose the Twelve to be His apostles (Mk 3:13–19) and Paul to be an apostle (Act 9:1–19).

 

The Holy Spirit even chooses who will have what gifts to serve the church (Eph 4:11–12; 1 Cor 12:7).

 

So, as God looks out over all human history with one glance, it’s evident that He works directly in that history, and invites us to join His work in different ways.

We need to focus on listening for His call in our own lives and making sure we answer “YES”.

There is a part of the gospels where James and John assume that their closeness to Jesus combined with their willingness to sacrifice much and work hard for His kingdom will earn them high positions. This is the way of the world, including the province of Israel.

In the church age, honor, importance, and authority do not necessarily go together (1 Cor 12:22–25).

 

Leaders are servants (Joh 13:3–16).

 

James and John wanted to sit at the right and left side of Jesus in His kingdom, there mother was involved as well, acting as their agent.

 

Soon, however, —- there will be two men chosen to be at Jesus’ right and left hand, but they are men the disciples could never have imagined: Two thieves (Mk 15:27). Two thieves will literally pick up their crosses and be crucified with Christ, but this will not guarantee them positions in heaven (Mk 15:27). Although both thieves suffered, /The only one to see paradise was the one who recognized he was as powerless as a child (Mk 10:15) and placed his trust in Jesus (Lk 23:39–43).

The study of the 12 Apostles is an intriguing subject – with their personalities, their strengths, and their weaknesses. The 12 apostles were given to Israel, just Israel, — Paul is the apostle to the gentiles. We need always to remember that not only were they human, like us today, and had failures and successes; but they also were trained by our Lord during His earthly ministry. They all had different personalities. These men were men like you and I, however, they did not have what we have today — the completed canon of scripture — and they did not have the filling of the HS when they walked with Jesus. We have every advantage! What is important is how they responded to the cross.

Luke 6:13-16 “And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles.”

 

Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon [not Peter] who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

 

The original twelve disciples of Jesus are mentioned in four lists in the New Testament. These four lists are divided into three groups each, with Peter heading the first group; Philip, the second; and James, the third. Each group in each of the 4 lists has the same persons.

However, after the first name there is variety in the order.

 

In all four lists, Peter is at the top and Judas Iscariot is at the bottom.

Simon Peter’s group has three more people in it – Andrew, James and John -listed in various order according to Mat 10:2-4, Mar 3:16-19, and Act 1:13.

John never lists the disciples in his gospel. The second group is always begun by Philip; he’s always number 5 and is then followed by Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas in various order.

 

The third group is always begun by James, the Son of Alphaeus, and thereafter includes the same men -Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean, (aka the Zealot) and Judas Iscariot, last. *Judas is not mentioned in the book of Acts, since by then he had committed suicide.

 

Initially the gospels can appear to be confusing, because the Apostles are not always listed in the same order.  To make matters worse, the men are called by different names or nicknames. For instance, Saul of Tarsus had dual-citizenship, and also says in 1 Cor 9:20 “to the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.” Saul is a Hebrew equivalent to Paul. Sometimes we hear the name in different forms depending on the native origin of the speaker. There is ambiguity in this way, but it can be sorted, but it requires a great deal of study. (This is a great example of the value and necessity of a trained, prepared, and dedicated Pastor-Teacher who can do this time-consuming work and rightly divide the Word of Truth. We are blessed to have such a man who can clarify these things! God is gracious!)

In group three Thaddaeus and Judas, son of James, are the same person. Simon the Cananaean is also Simon the Zealot. It would be easy to mistake this individual for two different people, but he is one individual.

 

Bartholomew is called Nathanael elsewhere. Thomas is called Didymus three times in the gospel of John, which means twin. James on one occasion is called “the Lesser” ——–perhaps he was the younger, perhaps he was the shorter. Matthew, [whom we saw earlier in our study], was called Levi in Luke’s gospel.

Principle: God choose us before the foundation of the world and has preordained a role just for us which is built around our unique personality and strengths as well as weaknesses.

This unique spiritual life is tailor-made for us as individuals and no one else can live it in our place! When we are AWOL following our own desires and plans, our position is empty. There is a horse on the battlefield with no rider….

God’s plan is never defeated, far from it, but God gives us the role for our own benefit, not for His, so we are really cheating ourselves! The varied personalities of each of the 12 apostles and Paul are a great illustration of this principle. When we study them it reveals the way God was able to use both strengths and weaknesses to further His objective. It reveals the incomprehensible genius of our God, who is able to make all things work together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

Simon aka Peter.

Peter was known for being bold, confident, courageous, frank, impulsive, energetic, vigorous, strong, loving and faithful to his Master in spite of his defection prior to the crucifixion. He was a born leader, charismatic and passionate, and bold, but as a result also prone to impulsiveness and emotion and acting without thinking at times.

Andrew.

Open-minded Andrew was Peter’s brother. Along with a keenness of perception regarding spiritual truths, Andrew also had a strong sense of personal conviction which enabled him not only to accept Jesus as the Messiah, but to win his brother Peter also as a disciple of Christ, after he became the first to be called. Andrew was not the greatest of the apostles, yet he is typical of those men of open-minded understanding and sound common sense without whom the success of any great movement cannot be assured. Like all of us however, he was at times prone to doubt and human viewpoint thinking.

Fanatical James

James the son of Zebedee, brother of John. James and John were called the “brothers of thunder” by the Lord in Lk 9:53 after they asked if they ought to command fire from heaven to rain down on those Samaritans who refused Him. Clearly they had such zeal for the Lord that they tended to be harsh and judgmental toward His detractors and enemies. It was these same brothers who had asked the Lord to be seated at His right and left hand, though their mother had put them up to it. Yet from the time he was ordained an apostle, James occupied a prominent place among the apostles, and, along with Peter and John, became the special confidant of Jesus.

Passionate John

John also held an intimate connection with the Lord. John was a young man of fiery zeal and a tendency toward intolerance and exclusiveness, evident in his desire to call down fire upon the Samaritan village. Jesus did not encourage this and rebuked these tendencies, but the tendencies reveal the man. Indeed, nearest of all to Jesus, he was called, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (Joh 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). John’s passionate disposition was held in check, and under control, and was allowed to vent only on occasions when it was permissible, and even necessary. It is not without significance that in the three narratives which are cited from the gospels to prove the overbearing temper of John, —we are told that Jesus corrected him all three times. It seems he took it to heart. As he grew older and wiser, he began that long development which changed that youthful “son of thunder” into the “aged apostle of love.”

Inquisitive Philip

As with Andrew, Philip’s Greek name implies he had Greek connections. This is strengthened by the fact that he acted as the spokesman of the Greeks at the Passover. Philip was very inquisitive, asked probing questions, and sympathized and understood the doubts and difficulties that the Greeks had (1 Cor 1:22). Philip was very cautious, deliberate, and desirous of submitting all truth to the test of sensuous experience (Joh 14:8). It was the natural mindedness of Philip that influenced Jesus to awaken in Philip, His disciple, a larger and more spiritual faith, in John 6:6, seeking “to test him.” Philip’s natural reserve, which affected his beliefs, found expression in his outer life and conduct also. The story of Philip’s later life shows that he overcame those initial defects in his character, fulfilling the great commission in Mat 28:16-20.

Mysterious Bartholomew

Not much is known about Bartholomew. Many scholars believe Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same, Joh 1:45-49. In the first three gospels, Mat 10:3; Mar 3:18; Luke 6:14, Philip and Bartholomew are constantly named together, whereas Nathanael is not mentioned. In the fourth gospel Philip and Nathanael are correspondingly combined, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. Remember the ambiguity of names as understood in different tongues which I stated earlier. We know that he was naturally discerning or judgmental, even prejudiced (Joh 1:45-46). He was a blunt and direct person, but honest, as the Lord recognizes in John 1:47-51 saying, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

**We will pick up this trail again in the very near future. Sunday’s message was focused on the Gospel of John as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper and so the message was focused on our Lord. The proceeding week the church was closed for cleaning and disinfecting due to Covid cases. As of Sunday 5-16 the church is reopened and the previous lesson can continue. Now I will present the Sunday message in recognition and remembrance of our Lord’s sacrifice!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In light of celebrating our Lord’s Supper this morning we will be mostly keeping with the gospel of John chapter 12.

And before we get into our main study which is going to be John 12:27 allow me to tell you about John 12.

 

When John wrote this gospel, the other three accounts of Jesus’ life—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—had already been established and distributed.

 

Partly for that reason, it seems, he focuses on details which the other Gospels do not include. That’s especially true of meanings behind Jesus’ miracles and parables. It’s also why John focuses so much time and energy on what Jesus said to His disciples. John uses several groups of sevens, including seven unique miracles, seven overt witnesses to Jesus, and seven “I Am” statements. I believe there are 10 in total.

 

This chapter is only about halfway through John’s text, but he has already offered all those items, but for two “I Am” remarks in John 14:6; & 15:1.

 

Here, in chapter 12, we find the last of Jesus’ public teachings prior to the crucifixion. Chapters 13—17 will contain only private instruction given by Christ in the hours before He is arrested. This will be followed by His arrest, sentencing, death, and resurrection.

The raising of Lazarus has generated a lot of attention.

 

It also seems to have brought additional visitors to see the once-dead man for themselves.

Again, Jesus’ religious critics prove how hard-hearted and cruel they really are. Not only have they responded to Jesus’ miracle by plotting His death (Joh 11:53), they are even willing to assassinate Lazarus, whose very existence threatens to prove them wrong (Joh 12:9–11).

The Jewish leaders are concerned for their earthly well-being and positions of power, which they believe Jesus threatens. He challenges their authority by challenging their legalistic system which has made them powerful and wealthy, men of great influence. This particular miracle is very well-known, it looks bad for them. But also, they are worried that Jesus’ popularity might bring about another Jewish revolt which could bring the full might of the Roman military down on them. However you look at it, from their perspective, seeing him as a mere man at best, and a trouble-making devil at worst, He is a problem for them.

John’s gospel also explains how some people seem to be excessively hardened to the truth.

 

Those who persistently reject God—whether as a culture or as individuals—may find that God “hardens” them as a form of judgment. Much like God punished Pharaoh by hardening him (Ex 9:12), but only after Pharaoh hardened himself (Ex 7:13, 22; 8:15, 19, 32), God can do the same to others. Those who stubbornly refuse to accept Christ— may find themselves in a state where they cannot accept Him, because they would not accept Him (Joh 12:37–43).\

 

The last words of Jesus recorded in this chapter are not given any definite context. John indicates that Jesus “cried out,” using similar Greek words as Jesus’ “calling out” to Lazarus in the tomb (Joh 11:43). This message summarizes the idea that To reject Jesus Christ is to reject God. Jesus’ first coming was to live and die as a man, establishing the means by which mankind can be saved.

 

Actual “judgment” for those who reject Him will come later, in the form of an eternal separation. As Jesus has pointed out before, His words and His will are identical to those of God the Father (Joh 12:44–50).

This morning were going to see A CHRIST-LIKE PRAYER. Last Sunday we looked at the first part of this verse and we will continue with the second part this morning as it leads us beautifully to our Lord’s Supper which my dad will present for us.

 

Joh 12:27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say,   ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

We saw that word troubled and examined its reference to the term agitated or turbulence and we also noted that temptation is not sin,  after all Jesus was tempted and He remained sinless. We know that Jesus was troubled that His followers did not fully understand what was happening.

They did not have the knowledge that we share today.

 

Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted.’”

 

It’s clear He is acting under the divine decree, God’s divine timing. We have talked a good deal about waiting for God’s timing and resisting the desire to act out of impatience or to begin to doubt or question when our timing doesn’t line up with His. In prior moments, Jesus had made the point that His “time had not yet come.” In fact, the bible tells us numerous times that they, the religious leaders who wanted Him dead, would go and try to capture Jesus and it just wouldn’t happen for one reason or another. Jesus understood the protocol – God’s will be done, how, when, why, and where God wants it.

In verse 27 of John 12, Jesus’ response indicates that the time has come for His ultimate sacrifice, AN EVENT WHICH OPENS THE GOSPEL OF GRACE TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.

 

So let’s look at this verse again

Joh 12:27  “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say,   ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

 

Jesus is not backing out, He is pointing out to His disciples — and the world that all of His work on earth is coming to an end and this is the very purpose for His coming to earth, He came to die, so that we may live. The more reasonable interpretation is that Jesus is saying the same thing He’ll pray later in the garden of Gethsemane (Mat 26:39; Lk 22:42).

Mat 26:36–46 follows Jesus and the disciples into a place called Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives.

 

This is where we will take a look at a Christ-like prayer…

 

Mat 26:39 “And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

Let me tell you a little about this verse —–and this also shows us how important it is to have corrected translations. Bible commentators have debated, downplayed, exaggerated, and otherwise argued over the meaning of Jesus’ words in this prayer (Mat 26:39, Lk 22:42). After asking Peter, James, and John to watch with Him, Jesus moves a bit away from them and falls on His face (Mat 26:36–38).

 

This posture is used throughout the Bible, and history, by those taking the most humble and submissive position possible. In prayer, before God, this reflects a person making a request of great urgency. —– I’m sure many of us can empathize with an urgent prayer request …

 

Jesus is also clearly exhausted in this moment. Other Gospels note the incredible stress He is experiencing (Mk 14:34; Lk 22:44). I mean He knows what’s going to happen! Now, as Jesus prays for strength to face the next few hours, He tells Peter, James, and John to pray and watch (Mk 14:34).

 

“Watch” is from the Greek root word gregoreuo and means to pay attention to avoid calamity. We can pray for each other, but even more, if we can be part of the solution, we should always try, we should try to avoid problems and try to limit the impending destruction. Jesus knows that their watching can’t prevent the crucifixion, or even Peter’s denial (Mk 14:30). He knows the disciples will scatter in just a few hours (Mk 14:27). He wants them to be aware that they will soon be greatly tempted to sin (Mk 14:38).

 

As Jesus prepares to have His relationship with God the Father severed for the first and only time, He wants His three closest friends to have the strength enough to endure for their own sake and meet Him again after the resurrection (Mk 14:28).

Mk 14:34 “And He *said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.”

 

“Sorrowful” is from the Greek root word ‘perilupos’ and is also translated “deeply grieved” and “overwhelmed with sorrow.” We talked about the fact that Jesus suffered humanly as we do, but it is true that Jesus suffered a worse hardship than anyone else in the world. After an infinite existence in perfect harmony and love with the other members of the Trinity, He is brutally cut off, rejected and despised. He must have felt very alone, —- which comforting for anyone who may be listening to my voice feeling alone.

 

We need to remember this moment in His life — when we lose a loved one or know someone who has.

Loss is real. Sorrow is real. We need to remember this moment in His life when we are when we are remembering Him in celebration of Our Lords Supper and His coming back. He loved us this much.

Logical thinking like, “We’ll see them again someday” or “God has a purpose” isn’t enough to wash Jesus’ agony away here, and we should recognize that in the moments maximum testing, they may not remove our pain either. But Jesus shows us how to acknowledge our most agonizing feelings while still walking in obedience to the God who has put us on this path. It’s like the saying, “courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is ignoring it and carrying on anyway.” Strength doesn’t mean we we don’t suffer pain, it means that we carry on anyway as our Lord did, by relying on the divine thinking and the enabling power of God the HS.

 

The word cup is often used in Scripture to describe God’s judgment or a time of great suffering.

Pastor has an entire doctrine on the symbolism of the Cup.

Now in Mat 26, Let’s take a look at that Christ-like prayer again…

Mat 26:39  “And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

Jesus knew He would soon experience God’s judgment for the sins of humanity on the cross. He also knew He was nearing some strain, beyond human comprehension, of His communion with the Father (Mat 27:46), for the first time in His eternal life. He knew He would be forsaken. Mat 27:45–56 describes the climactic moment when Jesus dies on the cross. Darkness falls over Israel as Jesus hangs near death.

The darkness ends, though, at about the time Jesus cries out in a loud voice, speaking Aramaic: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”  —— The words of Psalm 22:1, which mean “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Speaking to God the Father, as He was the only member of the Trinity that forsook Him on the Cross.

 

This is the first verse of Psalm 22, often called “the Psalm of the crucifixion”, which has many references connected to the crucifixion. Some believe Jesus is once again declaring how His experience fulfills prophecy (Mat 16:21; 26:53–54).

 

Others note that those words mean, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

That is a heartbreaking cry to hear coming from the Son of God.

 

Jesus dies. Then THIS happens:

 

Immediately, the massive temple curtain is torn in two, top to bottom. Earthquakes open the tombs of some of the saints of Israel, who are later resurrected. At this point even A Roman centurion is shocked enough to declare that Jesus was the Son of God.  This Roman soldier took God out of his box…(Mat 27:47-56).

We know Jesus experienced human emotion and temptation (Heb 4:15). That included intense anguish as He anticipated this moment (Mat 26:38–44). We cannot know, for certain, exactly what is happening among the Persons of the Trinity at this point. The way Jesus is said to have “cried out” (Mk 15:34) and the reaction of bystanders suggests intense emotion.

 

It is because the weight of the sin of the world has been placed on Jesus’ shoulders, and God cannot bear to see it or be in communion with He who bears it. God is perfect, but more – He is absolute perfection. Not 99.9999999%, but 100%. What happens to a pure liquid if even one single drop of impurity is added to it? It is no longer pure. It is contaminated. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.” In God, there is no “mostly pure.” God is absolute perfection, absolute righteousness, absolute justice. This is the answer to the perennial critical question, “how can a loving God put His creation into eternal punishment?” God isn’t fair the way people understand it – we are biased, partial, inconsistent. God is absolutely fair, which means His justice can not excuse one single sin, EVER, or He would be what Satan says He is – unfair, inconsistent, partial; He would no longer be 100% absolute perfection – hence, He would no longer be God, since God’s character IS who and what God is, it is what makes Him God, supreme over all creation. No one else is absolutely perfect, no one else is like God (Isa 46:9).

God’s love doesn’t overrule His justice, or vice versa. God can’t have anything to do with sin, and this is why we can not have any relationship with Him until we acknowledge our sin and accept His perfect sacrifice in our Lord Jesus, the lamb without spot or blemish. Jesus Christ is the solution God devised to solve the problem of sin. Jesus Christ in being judged in our place removed the barrier of sin so that God could have a relationship with us without compromising His perfect character!

 

Hab 1:13 “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, And Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor. Why dost Thou look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why art Thou silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?”

 

Jesus’ cry comes from His humanity. It expresses His emotional turmoil as well as the moral unfairness of His situation. He isn’t sinful. But “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the very righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

 

Rom 3:22 “but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction,”

In the garden, in Mat 26:39, we again see Jesus’ humanity revealed, as He is at that time fully aware of the horrifying reality of what He must now endure. We can all feel very confident about some frightening inevitability in our future, such as death, or perhaps sickness, cancer, when it is yet future. Even the week before we can remain in that state. But when we are in the final moments, the full weight of it crushes us, and we may falter. Jesus is giving us a glimpse into His apprehension, saying “if there were any way that this could be avoided, I would surely avoid it.” But He remains in submission to God the Father’s plan, He shows us the humility of the God-man.

In Closing back to John 12:27

Joh 12:27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say,   ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

 

Then, what we just saw – with His death hours away, Jesus will make the request His humanity is begging for. At the same time, and without contradiction, He will pray for the will of God the Father to be done. Even more powerful than the anguish of His human emotions is Jesus’ absolute commitment to obeying God. I think God wanted us to see and know that carrying our cross isn’t easy, even for the Lord, and we aren’t unworthy if we feel anguish or if we experience reticence. We aren’t expected to march into our evidence testing with a beaming smile, whistling “Oh Susanna” and if not then we are failures. Even our perfect Lord felt the weight of it. But – He carried on anyway, submitting to God’s will, plan, and purpose. That is the lesson!

 

There is never a question as to whether Christ will follow through on His mission. This prayer is a cry to God, declaring both natural emotions and perfect faithfulness (Php 2:8).

 

This attitude when making requests to God is the perfect model for Christians, in all possible situations.

 

It is good to ask the Father for exactly what we want; we are told to do this when we pray (Php 4:6; Jam 4:2).

 

However, a Christlike prayer not only asks for something, but also commits to obeying God’s will, even if the answer should be “no.” The more in line with God’s plan our thinking is, the more likely our prayers will line up, and therefore, the more often they will be answered.