Jesus and His Dark Night! Part 1






TITLE: Jesus and His Dark Night!

TEXT: Mark 14:32-42

TONE: Somber

TARGET: Believers

TASK: To highlight the significance of Christ suffering in the Garden to stir my listeners to abide in Him.

TEACH: Personal testimony of my own recent dark night.

TRUTH: Gethsemane, by the Mount of Olives, was a garden just outside the city of Jerusalem. Gethsemane is a compound word meaning ‘oil press’, or ‘pressing of oils.’ It is believed the place could have been, besides a garden where trees great, an old oil press where olives were crushed to produce the famous oil we all have heard of. Basically, people would bring ripe olives, crush them under a millstone. The oil was then gathered in jars.


Olives need to be crushed to get the precious oil. The more pressure is applied during the crushing of the olives, the more oil you get. This is why the symbolism of Gethsemane is so important. It is the place where Jesus had to do through the pressing pressure and give His best for us. We would never have the oil of Christ salvation without the crushing of Christ.


I.           The Drama of that Night

a.     The night began innocently enough, yet Jesus was troubled in His spirit, a deep sorrow over the acts of Judas. It must a night punctuated by the announcement of a traitor in their midst. Further, there was confusion among the disciples, as each was unsure who the betrayer would prove to be. On top of that, Peter was told he would deny Christ. Yet, Christ celebrated the Passover with them.


b.     It was also a night instruction, as Jesus explained the New Covenant and the symbolic meaning of the bread and the wine.


c.     It was also a night of intense prayer as John records the High Priestly prayer of Christ in John 17, followed by His movement to the Garden.


d.     It was a night of betrayal through a kiss. A night of swords and clubs, arrest and kangaroo courts.


II.         The Agony of that Night

a.     The Agony of Distress:

1.     He went to pray, accompanied only by Peter, James, and John -Mk. 14:32-33

2.     Before He began praying, He was troubled and deeply distressed- Mk. 14:33

3.     Later, Luke record that He was “in agony”, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground -Lk.22:44

4.     He was likely troubled for He knew that His hour had come -Jn. 12:27


b.     The Agony of Intense Sorrow:

1.     He described Himself as “exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” -Mk. 14:34

2.     The writer of Hebrews refers to His “vehement cries and tears” -He.5:7

3.     He grief and sorrow was partly due to the fact that He was taking upon Himself our own grief and sorrow! -Isa. 53:4-5


c.     The Agony of Solemn Loneliness:

1.     He wanted His closest disciples to watch with Him.

2.     Those who had been with Him from the beginning.

3.     Those who were privy to His miracles.

4.     Those who saw His transfiguration.

5.     Yet, he found them sleeping.

6.     He desired fellowship and comfort and found none.

7.     The Psalmist foretold this -Ps. 69:20.


d.     The Agony of Sins Consequence:

1.     The consequence of darkness: we know that the enemy is lurking, seeking whom he may desire. He came after Christ at the beginning of His ministry, and there is no reason to believe he did not come after Christ at the end of His ministry. 

2.     The consequence of sin: Jesus was about to bear the guilt and shame of every generations sin since the fall of Adam in the first Garden. He would feel condemned.

3.     The consequence of suffering: He foresaw the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, and the hatred of the Jews. Yet, what was greatest on His mind was the ‘cup.’ As we deal with the meaning of the term ‘cup’ lets us consider, Isaiah 51:17: “Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem! You who have drunk the cup of the LORD’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops.” When Jesus prays about avoiding the cup, He is alluding to this. By going to the cross, Christ will drink the cup of God’s wrath, all the way to the bottom, He bear the judgement that rightly falls upon Israel and all of humanity. In this process, He will suffer horrible, both in the physical realm and especially in the spiritual realm as He enters the Hell of separation from His Father.


III.        The Lesson of that Night.

C.S. Lewis capturers the true drama of that dark night in a scene from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The great lion Aslan has offered his life in exchange for the petulant schoolboy Edmund, who had betrayed his siblings. On the night before Aslan is to be slain at the Stone Table, the two girls Lucy and Susan follow behind him, watching him, longing to comfort him. Filled with sadness, the lion allows the children to accompany him awhile:


Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head dropped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan. “Aslan! Dear Aslan!” said Lucy,


“what is wrong? Can’t you tell us?” “Are you ill, dear Aslan?” asked Susan. “No,” said Aslan. “I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.”


And so the girls did what they had longed to do ever since they first saw him: they buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fure and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him.


The Messiah, went to the olive press to be squeezed under the great stone of the world’s sin. He went to unravel the fundamental error in the human heart. In this stage of His descent, he fell on his face in an agony of realization, experiencing his Father’s repulsion to sin. In the garden of Gethsemane, the place of soul crushing. Jesus passed through death and hell that we might pass over safely.


What can we do for Him? In one sense, nothing: it is the work of Jesus alone to save us. But in another sense, everything. We can do for Him what He desired in the first Garden.

We can keep Him company.

We can stay near Him.

We can anoint Him with our tears.

We can love Him.

We can abide in Him.






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