We Could Not, so HE Did! Part 1: Stay here, and Pray! (A Lenten Series from Concordia)
We could not… so He Did!
Stay Here and Pray!
May the grace, mercy, and love of God our Father assure you of your forgiveness and restoration! AMEN!
There in the Garden
During Lent, we will get very familiar with the Garden of Gethsemane! We will become so aware of the Garden, which is the background of that slide, that by Holy Week, we will be able to imagine ourselves there, with Jesus. And we will realize what He is going thru because we could not…
We fail so often! That is why we are wearing Ash this evening. We wear it, in the sign of the cross, but I don’t know if we get why! The grief of the cross is that Jesus had to die for my sin and yours, too. I feel the guilt and shame of mine.. just as you do yours.
This is the Garden, the night of anguish, the night of pain, the night when Jesus takes on all we could not.
We’ve heard Luke tell the story… but let’s make it personal.
Stay Here and Pray?
You get to the Garden, you’ve left Jerusalem and odd Passover dinner. Judas is not there. Something weird happened, and he ran out. Peter is still talking about Jesus washing his feet. James and John are still arguing about who is the more important apostle.
Jesus is bothered. He does not seem himself. You’ve come away and prayed with Him before, but this night is different…strange.. odd…and dark… so dark.
He asks you to stay… and pray that you don’t fall into temptation….
You try…but it has been so long a day… and you are trying to concentrate on praying. But you are weary, and your fall for the tempting, comfortable boulders on which you can rest. Your tiredness turns into a subtle temptation to disobey Jesus, and that turns to sin as you drift off to sleep…ignoring Him and His pain and grief.
Of course, it is not just in the Garden you sin, but any time where you turn away from Him, where you enter into temptation, where you walk away…
He asked you to stay and to pray…. and we could not
He did… despite the agony for you!
He stayed and prayed… except His temptation was more incredible than ours. He had to face the temptation to walk away from the suffering. To walk away from Peter’s betrayal and Judas’s kiss. To walk away from our sin…and the cross.
But Jesus stayed there! He prayed, agonizing over the events that were to come. Agonizing to the point where his sweat was blood…pouring from him, just as it would at the cross.
While there are days we can stay and pray and meditate on His word for an hour… we can never do what He was preparing to do that night…to save us from our sin.
He did what we could not!
This is why we come during lent, why we receive the ashes and the sign of the cross.
To grieve over our sin, but to do so with the hope of the cross and what it means. That Jesus did what we could not… and paid for our sin so that we could be with Him, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit, forever! Amen!