This is an exposition of Luke 22:39-46. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, December 17, 2017.


Exhausted, they held one another in unbelief. The last 9 months are a blur. They were engaged. They had entered into that formal period known as the betrothal. Plans were well underway for the wedding. Then an angel appeared to Mary. He came bearing extraordinary news. He was to have a child, a boy. But no ordinary boy, she was to be the mother of the Messiah. This would not be the result of relations with her husband in the normal course of things. This would be the work of God. This child would be conceived supernaturally. She would give birth to the Son of God.

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 As you can imagine things didn’t go well when she told Joseph the news. He sought to quietly get out of the marriage and do so with as little harm to Mary as possible. Then he had his own encounter with God. It was all true! It hadn’t been easy. The whispers every time they walked down the street. The distance they now experienced from family and friends. Then today. After that long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to her precious child in a stable amidst the stench and filth. Then those shepherds arrived with that story of an Angelic visitor and a heavenly chorus. Their heads were spinning. What does it all mean?

Fast forward 33 years. That child, now a man is in a garden just outside the city of Jerusalem. For most of the last few years he’s seldom be able to elude the crowds. Everywhere he went he was surrounded. The believers, the skeptics, the critics all wanting a piece of him. It’s Passover. Jerusalem is crowded with people but he is alone. He is laying prostrate on the ground in a pool of blood in agony crying, “Father if at all possible, let this cup pass from me.” On the night before our Lord’s greatest triumph, at the threshold of history’s pivotal moment, that moment anticipated by our Lord for all eternity, fear grip his heart. This Jesus who with such command and authority silenced the storm and calmed the sea. This Jesus who, with a word, caused demons to flee. This Jesus who, by his touch, opened the eyes of the blind, comforted the afflicted and even raise the dead. This Jesus who repeatedly silenced his critics with his profound wisdom, who consistently amazed the multitudes with his authority – this Jesus now cried out in terror from a lonely spot in the garden of Gethsemane. Our text this morning is found in Luke 22:39-46.

Text: Luke 22:39-46

After his birth, when the time of purification had passed, Mary and Joseph took the child to Jerusalem as required by the law of God. While there they met a man named Simeon who had been promised by the Lord that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ. After seeing the child, he pronounced a blessing and then said to Mary, “This child is appointed for the rising and falling of many in Israel. And a sword will pierce your soul as well.” Again, what did that mean? Mary would soon know.

After the Passover meal and the institution of the new memorial meal Jesus and his disciples walked the familiar path to the Garden of Gethsemane. As they approached the Garden our Lord became strangely silent. As they crossed they Kidron brook he had a strange look in his eye as he stared down at the water now red with the blood of the Passover lambs. Upon reaching the Garden he told his disciples to watch and pray. Taking Peter, James and John a bit further he went on beyond them and threw himself on the ground. Such agony. Such pain. Everything in me wants to look away from this scene. But to do so would be to miss a precious and wonderful revelation. For:

Thesis: Our Lord’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane powerfully reveals the majesty and the beauty of our Savior.

Three things are revealed to us in this experience. Three truths that call us to worship and adore our Savior.

  1. Our Lord’s experience in the Garden reveals the absolute horror of the cross.
  2. Our Lord’s experience in the Garden reveals the tender compassion of the Savior for his own.
  3. Our Lord’s experience in the Garden reveals the iron-willed determination of our blessed redeemer.

Our Lord’s experience in the Garden is a powerful revelation of the majesty and the beauty of our Savior.

It reveals the absolute horror of the cross.
It reveals the tender compassion of the Savior toward his own.
It reveals the iron-willed determination of our blessed redeemer.

The angel said to Joseph, “You are to name him Jesus because he will save his people.”