Two Gardens

I. Introduction

Please open your Bibles to John 18

The title of the Lord’s Supper message today is “2 Gardens”

John 18:1-9
1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.  ”I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”  And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  8“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

II. Two Gardens

In John 18 we read about Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane
The Bible can be called a story of 2 gardens:  Eden and Gethsemane

In the first garden, Adam took a fall
In the second garden Jesus took a stand…for you and me.

In the first garden, God sought out Adam
In the second, Jesus sought out God.

In the first, Adam hid from God
In the second, Jesus hid from no one.

In Eden Adam went to a tree that would bring his death and his separation from the Father
In Gethsemane Jesus decided to go to a tree that would offer you and me true life and reconciliation with the Father. Jesus went to a tree we call the cross.

III. Satan’s Plan

Satan also played a leading role in both gardens. (Including Gethsemane)

In John 18:3 John writes: So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Here we see how Satan plans his greatest Coup!
He recruits the best of the Romans, the Jews and even one of the Apostles!

The word in verse 3 for detachment is the greek word “Speira”
This word could have 3 meanings:
     -300 men
     -1900 men or
     -200 soldiers
Amazing!

I was always under the impression that it was a hand full of soldiers that came to arrest Jesus.  I was greatly mistaken. A posse of at least 200 soldiers was dispatched to round up this renegade carpenter and his 11 friends.

On top of that, there was also the temple police (the officials of the high priest)

And if that wasn’t enough:  These were accompanied by some Pharisees
…and led by Judas, the treasurer among the Apostles.

IV. Who Is In Control

Satan thought of everything
Jesus would have been unable to flee.
But Jesus had no desire to flee!

He didn’t come to this garden in order to simply flee again.
What this posse encountered in this garden was no coward.
No … They were introduced to a victor, a conqueror

Interestingly..they are standing a few yards apart from Jesus, yet don’t recognize him.

Yet he reveals himself.
I am,” he says
Eigo Emi!
Eigo Emi is the name God gives himself in Exodus 3
When Moses asks God his name — the Lord answers “I am” — Which in Greek is simply Ego Eimi

Jesus is basically saying, “You are actually in search of God! — And you have found him!

Look what happens next!
They fall down like dominos
These are the best soldiers — here to fulfill Satans greatest plot

But ONE WORD from Jesus and they all fall down like dominos!

PLEASE DON’T MISS THE POINT HERE!  WHEN JESUS SPEAKS, SATAN FALLS.

What occurs next?
Jesus commands them: Let my friends go free! — And the 200 soldiers obey our Lord.

V. Is this your Jesus?

This is a mighty Jesus!

No one TOOK his life from him.

No, he volunteered up his life.

He was 100% aware of the entire scenario plotted out by Satan.

In Ephesians 6:12, the Bible says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Your enemy is not someone with a differing theological stance
Your adversary is not someone with a different church methodology
Your battle is not your husband or your wife
Our enemy is clearly Satan.

VI. Poor Jesus

Often we feel so sad for Jesus.
We feel so sorry for him
Poor, poor Jesus.
So HELPLESS.

But we see something very different here.
After he took the time to pray through the inner turmoil of what was to come …
… he voluntarily / courageously entered into the battle of battles, his greatest suffering.
For you and for me.

Here, we witness a strong Jesus.
And everything that he faced, felt and suffered on the cross,…
…he suffered in a very sober, awake state of mind…
…for you and your forgiveness (and for me and mine)

HE was the one with the upper hand
HE was the one with the power and the might

So…Satan enjoyed his apparent victory
But…in reality, the eternal plan of God was fulfilled.

Jesus died as a blood sacrifice
…as a volunteer
…as a replacement for your death.

 BUT PLEASE DO NOT MISS THE MESSAGE HERE.

If he was the one with the power and might before and during the cross…
…then he still possesses the power and the might to change your life!

Jesus still possesses the ability to dis-empower Satan in your life.
And his name, “I AM”, has NOT changed in the last 2000 years.

VII. How about you and me?

So…which garden have you been focused on?
The garden of Eden
where Satan wins the battle and
Defeat is inevitable?

Or the garden of Gethsemane
where Jesus wins the battle and
victory is inevitable?

Which cross have you been focused on?
The one with “poor, helpless Jesus” – a victim of this world’s evil?
Or the cross with a confident, determined Jesus?

PRAYER FOR THE BREAD

Thank you Lord for Jesus.  Thank you for his might!  Thank you that he died voluntarily … for each person here.  Thank you that he freely suffered for each of us.  Thank you that he chose NOT to run from the physical and spiritual pain of the cross …  So that we could live a changed, meaningful, victorious life for you.  In Christ’s name, Amen

PRAYER FOR THE FRUIT OF THE VINE

Lord, help us to not be blinded to the real Christ – the was the soldiers were originally blind to him.  Help us to see the true Christ, not the weak, helpless Christ, but the conquering, victorious Christ.  Help us to grow in our confidence that Jesus STILL has the power over Satan in our lives.  Lord, today we give you permission to do with our lives what you deem best!  We love you!  In Christ’s name, Amen.

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