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The Savior in Gethsemane; Archived writing by A.C. Holmgren


And they came to a place that was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee: take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:32-36).

During His prophetic office, Jesus lived among the people whom He came to save. He not only observed them in their daily lives and dealings with one another, but also in their worship. He was not limited to the outwardly visible and apparent as we are, but He was capable of reading the thoughts and knowing the intents of each heart. He not only saw the flagrant violations of the laws of God committed by the scorners and the sorrowless, but He also knew the deepest and darkest secrets of the hypocritical self-righteous people who had a form of godliness, but denied its power. Jesus knew all men and needed not that any should testify of man, for He knew what was in man (John 2:24-25).

The sore amazement and heaviness that Jesus experienced in Gethsemane was caused by a closer relationship to our sins than that of merely observing them. In Gethsemane Jesus appears as the second Adam on whom God laid the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). What took

place at this time in the life of Christ is expressed by Apostle Paul in these words: God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (II Cor. 5:21).

Jesus entered into our sins in such a way that He experienced their soul-destroying power. Pure and holy, He was the Lamb of God without blemish and without spot (I Peter 1:19).

Jesus became sin for us and so identified with our fallen race. He was not only made conscious of the guilt of sin and the curse of God upon sin, but He became personally responsible for them. In this way He suffered the consequences of them as though He himself had committed them. David wrote prophetically of the experiences of our Messiah: For innumerable evils have compassed me about; mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore, my heart faileth me (Psalm 40:12). Be not far from me, for trouble is near: for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me (Psalm 22:11-17).

The connection between the suffering of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane and the events that took place in the Garden of Eden is unmistakeable. While the first Adam lived in Eden in the conscious presence of divine love and had daily converse with God, the second Adam, in Gethsemane, sank in agony to the ground under the oppressive burden of guilt. We see then that what was violated in Eden was suffered and atoned for in Gethsemane and at Calvary (F.W. Krummacher).

What we have witnessed in Gethsemane is only a beginning revelation of the dreadful cost of our redemption. Jesus prayed: Oh my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done (Matt. 26:42). The cup containedthe guilt of sin and the curse God placed upon sin. The agonies of death on the cross, coupled with abandonment by God, caused the Saviour to exclaim: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34). The cup remained in His hand, and He drank it in our place. He emptied it for us and thereby rendered complete satisfaction to the Father. Reconciliation is complete!

Thus we are able to say: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)

(This was written by the late Pastor Alvin Holmgren for a Church bulletin- March 2004)

Submitted by Pastor Stan

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