Matthew 26:36-46 Gethsemane: The Garden Of Decision

by | Dec 20, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. The Setting

A. The Garden V. 36

1. After the Passover Meal…

a. Luke 22:39 “Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed”
b. He had spent His nights there that week (Luke 21:37); He refused to alter this routine, though He knew it meant that Judas would easily find Him.

2. William Barclay re. Gethsemane…

a. Space in Jerusalem was so limited so that there was no room for gardens.
b. Many well-to-do people had private gardens out on the Mount of Olives.
c. Probably a remote walled garden (Jesus “entered” & “went out”).
d. Jesus may have gone there for prayer, rest, & fellowship w/ His disciples.
e. Some wealthy friend had given Jesus the privilege of using such a garden, and it was there that Jesus went to fight his lonely battle.

3. Gethsemane– Literally- “an oil press”.
4. Jesus would suffer under the extreme pressure of surrendering to the Father.

B. Those With Jesus

1. Judas has departed to betray Jesus. 8 of the disciples wait away from Jesus
2. Luke 22:40 “Pray that you may not enter into temptation…”

a. Jesus faces the greater temptation, and yet He is concerned for His friends.
b. They will face many temptations that night, and in the coming weeks.
c. He warns them, but He also gives them a solution: pray.

3. Jesus takes Peter, James & John further into the Garden.
4. They are there to comfort and support Jesus. Jesus brought His friends w/Him.

II. The Garden Of Decision

A. Jesus’ Emotions Vs. 37, 38

1. Isaiah 53:12 “…He poured out His soul unto death…”
2. Pour out- to make empty, lay bare, to leave destitute.

a. The path to the cross demanded that Jesus empty Himself of all self-will.
b. Jesus had to battle every offensive aspect of what the cross would bring.

3. In His humanity, Jesus made Himself so vulnerable as to need His friends’ support and company as He faced the horrors of the cross.
4. Hebrews 12:2 “…who for (anti-instead of ) the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…”

B. Jesus’ Prayer Vs. 39, 42, 44

1. V. 39- “He fell on His face”

a. The usual manner of prayer was to pray standing with hands raised.
b. That Jesus fell down proves the intensity of His struggle in Gethsemane.

2. The Cup– Repeatedly in the O. T., a cup is a picture of God’s wrath & judgment.

a. Jeremiah 25:15 “Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.
b. The cup spoke of Jesus’ suffering and death. See John 18:11

C. The Horror Of The Cross

1. He was only thirty-three; no one wants to die at thirty-three.
2. He knew what crucifixion was like; he had seen it.
3. If Jesus knew what the Father’s will was, why was He in such agony?

a. Because Jesus was going be a sacrifice for sins.
b. He was no dumb sacrificial animal, no victim of circumstances.
c. He willingly resolved to lay down His life.
d. It was not just the physical suffering and death that would bring fear.
e. It was the spiritual transaction that was about to take place.
f. God the Son became, as it were, an enemy of God the Father.
g. Some great pre-existent fellowship and union was broken for a time

4. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath so that we might choose to avoid it.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

D. The Struggle To Surrender To The Father

1. Read Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-7
2. Jesus delighted in doing the will of the Father, and yet struggled with it as well.
3. This makes His obedience all the more significant.
4. If obeying God is easy, there is not much to appreciate.
5. If obeying God is difficult and costly, it is much more appreciated by us.

E. Thy Will Be Done

1. It makes all the difference in what tone of voice a man says, “Thy will be done.”

a. He may say it in a tone of helpless submission, as one who is in the grip of a power against which it is hopeless to fight. The end of hope.
b. He may say it as one who has been battered into submission.
The words may be the admission of complete defeat.
c. He may say it as one who has been utterly frustrated and who sees that the dream can never come true: the tone of failure and regret
d. He may say it with the accent of perfect trust. That is how Jesus said it.

2. He was submitting in love, and submitting to love. He chose the cross.
3. John 3:35; 5:20 “The Father loves the Son…”

F. Jesus’ Aloneness

1. While Jesus agonized, His friends slept.
2. Luke 22:45 “He found them sleeping from sorrow.” They were overwhelmed.
3. V. 41- Jesus understood their good intentions and weakness.
4. Gethsemane speaks of battling alone to do the will of God.

G. The Answer From Heaven-Silence

1. There is no other path whereby men can be forgiven and saved.
2. If there was, then the Father was brutally cruel Jesus, and the cross was a waste
3. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

E. Jesus Rises To Victory Vs. 45, 46

He drank the cup at Calvary, but He decided once for all to drink it at Gethsemane.