MAN FELL AT SATAN’S TEMPTATION IN A GARDEN BUT JESUS DEFEATED SATAN’S TEMPTATION IN A GARDEN — JOHN 18:1; MATT. 26:36-46; LUKE 22:39-46
Satan tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross in the wilderness temptations, then through Peter, one of His closest friends, and now here in the Garden of Gethsemane (means, –“oil press”). –“ From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matt. 16:21-23) And Satan will try to stop us from –“taking up our cross daily and following Jesus.” (Luke 9:23) As with Jesus, Satan will offer us temporal gain that will cost us eternal loss and we may not even know how much we lost until we stand at the judgment seat of Christ.
We must realize that Jesus the God-man is 100% God and 100% man and this is totally irrational to our finite minds. It is what the Bible calls a mystery. Thus Jesus had two wills, two centers of consciousness. It is important to know this (though we cannot understand it — we accept it by faith) because Jesus had to be fully human and fully God to bring salvation to man. He must be human because substitutionary atonement requires a man ( a human — not bulls and goats – see Heb 10:4) to bear judgment for the sins of all men. Yet He must be God because no mere man, no matter how noble he may have been, can provide the infinite purchase price to redeem mankind from their sins.
Having this understanding we see Jesus in His humanity (just like us) wrestle with the will of God in utter honesty and yet utter trust and yieldedness. –“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matt 26:39) He prayed this prayer three times yet the second and third show His increasing understanding that He must go to the cross. –“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." Look at His complete yieldedness to the Father’s will.
Jesus was in touch with His deep emotions and shared them honestly with His Father. The gospel of Luke says, –“ And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. ” (Luke 22:44) –“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Heb. 5:7) God didn’t deliver Him from the trial but God did deliver Him in the trial. –“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43) The spiritual power to do God’s will comes with our willingness to do His will. Nevertheless, Thy will be done. –“In His will is our peace.” (Dante —Paradiso) The way Jesus went through the horror of the cross is an answer to His earlier prayer in John 17:1. –“ After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. (for the cross) Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” His peace, His love for even those who nailed Him to the cross, showed forth the merciful love of God.
Like Jesus we are never to trust our emotions alone but we are to honestly entrust all of our emotions to God. His Father did not rebuke Him for His anguish and even His prayer to not drink the cup of God’s wrath against sin knowing (as the Son of God) that this was what He must do . –“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:6-8)
–“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6-7)
–“For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:19-23)
–“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Heb. 12:4) Some commentators think that when Jesus –“sweat became like drops of blood” it was possibly a condition called “hematidrosis’ which is the actual mingling of blood and sweat as in cases of extreme anguish or strain. This is how far Jesus went to resist temptation. And His greatest fear was not the cross but becoming sin and thus being forsaken by His Father. (2 Cor. 5:21)
If Satan could take you out of God’s call on your life where would he most likely try to deceive you?
How does knowing that Jesus –“took it like a man” in resisting the powerful temptation of Satan to avoid the cross, encourage you in resisting temptation? –“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Heb. 12:4)
Like Jesus we are never to trust our emotions alone but we are to honestly entrust all of our emotions to God. If some women err on the side of trusting their emotions alone in hearing and obeying God men may err on the side of not entrusting all their emotions to God. Agree or disagree? Do you take the time to share all your emotions with the Lord? We may be too busy or too macho to admit our feelings, even to God, but if we bury them we bury them alive and they come out in unhealthy and even sinful ways.
–“ For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:19-23) Does knowing that our good and just God will one day settle all accounts perfectly, free you from wrongly taking matters in your own hands?