The Sorrowful Soul of Jesus
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: In first century Israel, there was a grove of thick, round trees on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. It was called Gethsemane. It was a place that Jesus regularly visited with his disciples. Though enclosed by walls, and separated from the city of Jerusalem by the Kidron Valley, the Temple Mount was still in view, at least from the right spot.
It was in this garden of trees that Jesus would endure one of his darkest hours; it was here that Jesus would feel the forces of death closing in on him. And through that experience, we learn something remarkable about God.
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. What aspects of Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 26:36-46 reveal the deep anguish he’s experiencing?
2. What tend to be your first responses when you encounter difficulty? In light of today’s message, how will you seek to incorporate desperate prayer into your rhythms?
3. “If we want to know what God is like, we look to Jesus.” Explain this statement (see Colossians 1:15).
4. What comfort do you find in knowing that we serve and worship a God who knows what it’s like to suffer? How does this reality impact our prayer life?
5. How open are you with God in your prayers? Do you believe that God desires our complete honesty? Why or why not?
6. In Christ, God not only identified with us, but he became sin for us. How does this change everything? How does this provide hope when you fail?
1. Read Matthew 26:36-39.
2. 01. In the darkest moments of human existence, there is no substitute for desperate prayer.
3. 02. The soul-crushing sorrow of Jesus, experienced on his journey to the cross, discloses to us a God who knows suffering and grieves with humanity.
4. “Whenever divine impassibility is interpreted to mean that God is impervious to human pain or incapable of empathizing with human grief, it must be roundly denounced and rejected.” – Robert Reymond
5. “The agony of each is different, yet equally real. And the resulting understanding of human grief is as much a reality for God the Father and God the Holy Spirit as it is for God the Son. The trinity is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” – Donald Macleod
6. Read at Matthew 26:39-46.
7. “In Gethsemane [Jesus] underwent a most unusual sense of being troubled that we must feel is connected not only with the fact that he would die, but that he would die the kind of death he faced, a death for sinners.” – Leon Morris
8. 03. Jesus Christ endured the full wrath of God, suffering for us and securing our salvation.