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  • # 210 Guarantee of Our Freedom

    Jesus finishes his prayer for us as they approach the garden where they've been spending nights--Gethsemane.

    He becomes strangely silent, and the disciples notice the change. They've never seen him like this. What is wrong? He staggers as if carrying a huge weight. His disciples catch him so he doesn't fall.

    He has always lived in the light of his Father's presence, but now he feels it breaking up, and Satan whispers that he will be shut out forever as he becomes the guarantee for human freedom.

    Near the entrance of the garden he leaves all but Peter, James, and John, telling them to pray for themselves and him. He leads the three deeper into the garden. Often they have spent the night with him here. After praying, they would sleep until he woke them in the morning.

    This time he says, "Stay awake and pray with me, I feel like I'm dying." and he goes a little farther, collapsing.

    He is going through the "wrath of God"-- God letting go of him, allowing evil to take control. As he feels their unity break up, he fears his human nature won't be able to handle the conflict.

    Satan has come for the last struggle. For three years he has been planning for this--if he fails here, the world will become Christ's, men become free to shake off evil's bondage, free to choose. If he wins, the human race will be forever in the misery of evil. The cup of human fate trembles in God's human hands.

    Matthew 26:36-39, Mark 14:32-35, Luke 22:39-41, John 18:1-2

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