The Road to Easter
Week 1, “The Road to Decision”
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour —when darkness reigns.”
Jesus’ conflict with Satan and His prayer to His Father are marked by four elements.
40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
a. Satan temps us to hold on to our sin, that day in the garden he tempted Jesus to hold on to His holiness.
b. Jesus told them more than once in other situations to pray so that they would not be led to temptation, (Matt 6:13; Luke 11:4)
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. Or it can also mean, “to plead humbly.” (Used about 60 times in the Bible) this word also carries a sense of awe and adoration. A respectful appeal to a higher power.
One of the hardest things about following Jesus is submitting to His will.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Seeking God’s will in prayer is vital to our relationship with Him, it should be the reason we pray.
Used in the Old Testament regarding God’s wrath and Judgement
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Describes a state of extreme mental and emotional anguish and sorrow. The verb form of the noun refers to intense struggle… this struggle was so intense that is caused a strange and unusual physical reaction….
44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
A condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture. Causing them to exude blood.
“Man of Sorrows!” What a name
For the Son of God, who came,
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
-Phillip P. Bliss
Jesus gave up holiness to become sin so that we could give up sin to become holy
The Road to Easter, Wk 1 Small Group Questions
“The Road to Decision, Gethsemane”
- Do you feel more people are inclined to attend church at Easter or Christmas? Why do you think that is so?
- Read Luke 22:39-41, what is the temptation that you think Jesus is warning them not to fall into? What is our goal(s) as redeemed people? How often do we pray to avoid temptation? Should we pray that more or less often?
- Read Luke 22:42-43, what is the cup Jesus is asking the Father to take away from Him? Discuss Jesus adding in …”; yet not my will, but yours be done”. Do we often add this to our prayers? Why or why not? Discuss Jesus’ separation from the Father.
- Why do you think Jesus needed an angel to strengthen Him?
- Do you feel people are inherently good or inherently bad (or neither or both)? What is the root cause of people being considered bad?
- Do you feel the disciples knew exactly what was about to happen to Jesus at the point where they fell asleep in the garden?
- What is the difference between prayer and supplication?
- Have you ever been rejected by your own people/group/family? How did it feel?
- Read Luke 22:44-46, are there times when we “pray more earnestly”. Discuss how that prayer is more focused than our normal prayers.
- What is the temptation that Jesus overcame?
- Why did Jesus have to die?
- Do you have one person in mind to invite for Easter service?