Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The New Adam

In John 18 John tells us how Jesus, the Son of God, takes his disciples across the Kidron brook, where there was a garden. Notice he deliberately doesn't say "Gethsemane" as the other gospel writers do. "A brook" and "a garden" - why this description? v2 then tells us Judas, who betrayed him comes along. John 13v27 has already told us that Satan has entered Judas at the last supper when he had taken the bread. So who symbolically is entering this garden according to John? It is Satan. When else have we seen the son of God in a garden with a river and Satan entering the garden? Yes, back in Genesis 3 with the Garden of Eden. Satan had come to attack this paradise and God had placed Adam, the first son of God as a guardian of the garden and its inhabitants including his family - Eve. But what did the first Adam do? Instead of defending Eve when Satan attacked her with his lies, Adam sat back passively and did nothing. He didn't defend Eve or the Garden. He didn't like the idea of risking his life to defend his bride and so he let Satan conquer them. Ever since Satan has been Prince of this World (Eph 2). What happens with Jesus in John 18? Judas and the troops approach and demand to arrest him. Jesus says in v8 "if you seek me, let these men go". He offers himself so that his disciples may go free. He does put his life on the line to defend them. Who are they? The disciples are the bride of Christ, as are we his Church. Where the first Adam put himself first and failed to save his bride, Jesus, the second Adam, self-sacrificially in his love for his bride, says "take me" and lays his life down so that his bride may go free - what an amazing picture of his love and what the cross has done in setting us free at Christ's costly expense. What an amazing God we worship - Jesus the God-man!

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A pressing engagement - Gethsemane

I was recently reading Matthew 26 where Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane and I wondered what the word "Gethsemane" means as very often in the Bible locations are significant. I looked it up and discovered that it meant "the place where the Olives are pressed". Olive oil in the Bible is used as an anointing oil to anoint Kings and Priests. Jesus, our King and Priest, here at Gethsemane is entering the pressing machine. He is giving himself to be crushed on our behalf. We in our sin cannot stand before a holy God so Jesus, the God-man, goes to the cross for us, being pressed and crushed, taking God's curse on himself so the blessing might flow out to us. What is happening at Gethsemane is that Jesus voluntarily goes to the cross. He says "not my will but your will be done." He enters the press of his own accord. This reminded me of Isaac in the Abraham and Isaac story on Mount Moriah. Isaac involuntary was bound to the wood on the top of the mountain. The son of the father being involuntarily sacrificed. Whereas with Jesus, he is the Son of the Father who VOLUNTARILY is bound to the wood of the cross and sacrificed on the mount of Olives - Calvary for us. In his astonishing love for us he gives himself over to death for us - and then rises triumphant having defeated sin and death!

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