When You Have Difficult Decisions
Mark 14:32-39;41-50 2/21/2010
In this chapter begins the account which this evangelist gives of the death and sufferings of our Lord Jesus, which we are all concerned to be acquainted, not only with the history of, but with the mystery of. Here is, The plot of the chief priests and scribes against Christ . The anointing of Christâ€™s head at a supper in Bethany, two days before his death . The contract Judas made with the chief priests, to betray him. Christâ€™s eating the passover with his disciples, his instituting the Lordâ€™s supper, and his discourse with his disciples, at and after supper . Christâ€™s agony in the garden. The betraying of him by Judas, and the apprehending of him by the chief priestsâ€™ agents . His arraignment before the high priest, his conviction, and the indignities done him at that bar. Peterâ€™s denying him . Most of which passages we had before, Matt. 26 .
1. Christâ€™s Agony in the Garden. (Mark 14: 32-39)
Mark 14:32Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, â€œSit here while I pray.â€ 33And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34Then He said to them, â€œMy soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.â€
35He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36And He said, â€œAbba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.â€
37Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, â€œSimon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.â€
39Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.
Christâ€™s sufferings began with the sorest of all, those in his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St. Matthew, but very full of meaning. The terrors of God set themselves in array against him, and he allowed him to contemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time. Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laid upon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all the bitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostle speaks, the natural fear of pain and death, at which human nature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or even slight thoughts of sin, when we see the painful sufferings which sin, though but reckoned to him, brought on the Lord Jesus? Shall that sit light upon our souls, which sat so heavy upon his? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we never be in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we have pierced, and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowful for sin, because He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ, as Man, pleaded, that, if it were possible, his sufferings might pass from him. As Mediator, he submitted to the will of God, saying, Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt; I bid it welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christâ€™s disciples returns, and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies of ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, we should get ready for it. Alas, even believers often look at the Redeemerâ€™s sufferings in a drowsy manner, and instead of being ready to die with Christ, they are not even prepared to watch with him one hour.
2. He is betrayed and taken. (Mark 14:41-50)
Mark14:41Then He came the third time and said to them, â€œAre you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.â€
43And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, â€œWhomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.â€
45As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, â€œRabbi, Rabbi!â€ and kissed Him.
46Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48Then Jesus answered and said to them, â€œHave you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.â€
50Then they all forsook Him and fled.
Because Christ appeared not as a temporal prince, but preached repentance, reformation, and a holy life, and directed menâ€™s thoughts, and affections, and aims to another world, therefore the Jewish rulers sought to destroy him. Peter wounded one of the band. It is easier to fight for Christ than to die for him. But there is a great difference between faulty disciples and hypocrites. The latter rashly and without thought call Christ Master, and express great affection for him, yet betray him to his enemies. Thus they hasten their own destruction.
Peterâ€™s denying Christ began by keeping at a distance from him. Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way to deny Christ. Those who think it dangerous to be in company with Christâ€™s disciples, because thence they may be drawn in to suffer for him, will find it much more dangerous to be in company with his enemies, because there they may be drawn in to sin against him. When Christ was admired and flocked after, Peter readily owned him; but will own no relation to him now he is deserted and despised. Yet observe, Peterâ€™s repentance was very speedy. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; and let him that has fallen think of these things, and of his own offences, and return to the Lord with weeping and supplication, seeking forgiveness, and to be raised up by the Holy Spirit.