The Rev. Paul J Cain, Jr.
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Drawn from the Four Gospels (LSB/ESV)
Wednesday of Lent II, 27 February 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Drawn from the Four Gospels
When they had sung a hymn, he went out, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all be offended because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”
Peter answered and said to him, “Even if all the others deny you, I will never deny you.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you that this night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But Peter said more vehemently, “If I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” And all the others said likewise.
They went over the brook Kidron and came to a place which was called Gethsemane. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. And when he was at the place, he said to them, “Sit down here, while I go on ahead and pray. Pray that you do not enter into temptation.”
He took with him Peter and James and John and began to be full of sorrow and turmoil. Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Wait here, and watch with me.” He went on a little from them, about a stone’s throw. He fell on his face and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.”
An angel appeared to him from heaven, strengthening him; and he prayed, saying, “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” In agony, he prayed more earnestly, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” His sweat fell on the ground like great drops of blood.
When he got up from prayer, he came to his disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
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, your will be done.” When he returned, he found them asleep again; for their eyes were heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. Look, the one who betrays me is here.”
Even while he was saying this, Judas, one of the Twelve, came with a detachment and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came to the place with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon him, went out to them and said, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”
Judas, who betrayed him, had taken his stand with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If I am the one you seek, then let these others go.” This was to fulfill the word he had spoken, “Of those you gave me I have lost none.”
Now he that was betraying Jesus had given them a sign, saying, “The one whom I shall kiss, that is he; seize him and be sure to take him away securely.” He went straight up to Jesus and said, “Hail, Master,” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come? Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
They came then and laid their hands on Jesus and took him. When those who were about him saw what would happen, they said to him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
Jesus answered, “No more of that.” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath. All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Do you imagine that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he will send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so? The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink of it?”
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, and the captains of the temple, and the elders who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a thief, with swords and clubs to take me? When I was with you day after day teaching in the temple, you did not lay your hands on me; but this is your hour and the hour of the power of darkness. All this has happened that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.
There was a certain young man who followed along. He had only a linen cloth about his naked body. They laid hold on him, but he slipped out of the linen cloth and fled away naked.
Then the detachment and its captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus, and bound him, and led him away to Annas first; for he was the father in-law of Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was the one who gave counsel to the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Here ends the Reading.
The purpose of Jesus’ passion, crucifixion, and death is clear: “He was delivered over to death for our sins.” A Lamb had to be delivered over for our trespasses, or we would still be dead in our trespasses and sins. Who delivered Him over? Tonight’s Passion reading answers that question well.
Even with all of their bold words, Peter, James, and John allowed Him to suffer in silent prayer alone. They were asleep.
Jesus prayed to the Father in agony: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus delivered Himself according to the Father’s will. The Father, who so loved the world, gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Judas betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. Judas delivered Jesus with a kiss to those who wanted him dead.
All the disciples forsook Him and fled.
Caiaphas was the one who gave counsel to the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
We too, delivered Him over to death. If we had no sins, we would not have had to die. We are not allowed to just blame the Romans, the Jews, or the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day. All of humanity is responsible, from Adam and Eve, to us, to all of humanity living and dead when the Lord returns in glory on the last day.
“O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” It is not an easy thing to pray “Thy will be done.” Such a prayer takes our present and future out of our hands—out of our control. But were either really in your control in the first place?
“Thy will be done” is a prayer that can only be prayed in faith—complete trust that the Lord is gracious and merciful, and that He knows what is best for you in the long term, no matter what happens to you in the short term.
Bad things often happen to good people. Look at what happened to the only perfect man who ever lived! Jesus was killed for claiming to be who He really was.
Your Lord does allow things to happen to you. He does it to strengthen your faith and trust in Him. As James says, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4. All things are possible, but not all things are beneficial. Your Father in heaven knows best. He cares for you!
“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” Jesus actively obeyed the Ten Commandments. He kept the Law where we could not. We see also His passive obedience. He did not run away from Jerusalem. He set His face toward Jerusalem. He did not resist those who came to arrest them. He did not call for legions of angels. He did not put the Sanhedrin, high priest, Herod, or Pilate in their place at His feet. He did not come down from the cross. As a sheep before the shearers is silent, so was He. There had to be a death to atone for our sins. And there was! Even in Lent, you can rejoice in the forgiveness of sins.
Next week, we follow our Lord to THE PALACE OF THE HIGH PRIEST. Amen.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.