Jun 16, 2014
Look at the Book is a online method of teaching the Bible. It’s an ongoing series of 5–10 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher. You will hear John’s voice and watch his pen underline, circle, make connections, and scribble notes — all to help you learn to read God’s word for yourself. His goal is to help you not only see what he sees, but where he sees it and how he found it.
There are 33 videos to watch in this series
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples….”Stay here and watch with Me.” —Matthew 26:36, 38
We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique— they are the gateway into life for us.
It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of God— Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan’s assault was that our Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man. If Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11-15). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier wilderness temptation— “…the devil…departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan’s final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane.
The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God.
Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man. Disciples Indeed, 388 L
There’s a simple message from God that is repeated over and over throughout Scripture—He delights far more in our efforts to know Him than in any gift we might offer Him. God created us with a deep desire to be known, so it shouldn’t be difficult for us to understand that seeking Him expresses our love better than words ever could.
We begin to take advantage of our great privilege to personally know God when we receive His free gift of new life through Jesus Christ. From that moment on, we are filled with His Holy Spirit. Jesus, our Mediator, spanned the gap of sin that separated God and man. Through His death on the cross, He made it possible for us, as unrighteous as we were, to become children of the Lord of Hosts, whose holiness overwhelmed Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-7). It is impossible to truly know God apart from knowing Jesus.
If our focus is exclusively on our own personal concerns, we will learn very little about the Lord. To further take hold of the privilege Jesus has afforded us—that of knowing the Father—we must be interested in what interests Him. By looking carefully for His way of doing things, we can come to understand what He deems important. We know that God has great concern for people who are walking in darkness as well as for those who are sick, suffering, and dying and have no one to help them. In order to take full advantage of our privilege of knowing Him more deeply, we must share His heart for the world and daily be involved with what He is doing all around us.
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:23-24)
As we mature in the Lord, our fear of death recedes into the background and ultimately, as this verse demonstrates, becomes a desire to leave this sin-cursed world behind and pass into the presence of the Creator.
The word choices in this passage are unusual. The verse could be translated “I am held together out of two pressures, a passion to be loosed to be with Christ; which is very much more serviceable for me: but remaining here in the flesh is, out of necessity, more critical for you.”
Thus, the tension of the true saint of God. The more that is known about the joy awaiting us in the presence of our Lord, the less we see earthly values and goals as things to work toward. Yet the needs of churches, new Christians, troubled souls, and challenges surrounding our lives require a commitment to complete the “course” that God has given us to finish (2 Timothy 4:7).
The Lord Jesus insisted that we not worry about tomorrow because the evil of each day was “sufficient” (Matthew 6:34), since there is trouble enough in the world among those who reject God’s authority (2 Timothy 3:1-7). The evil that surrounds us should motivate us to long for the eternal rest promised to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9).
But to struggle with conflict resolution among the churches adds to the burden. Many in the ministry know this tension, as do most who serve regularly in their own churches. Perhaps our own peace comes when we finally determine that it is “far better” to serve. HMM III
Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? —Isaiah 40:12
Imagine going out millions of light years into space and finding a body so vast that you could throw all our solar system into it. Like throwing a shovelful of coal into a furnace, it would simply swallow up our solar system and go on. After you’ve thought of all that, remember that God contains all that. Remember that God is outside of all things and inside of all things and around all things. Remember that our God made it. That is the immensity of God….
We have here in Isaiah that which is vaster and more awesome than anything that ever came out of the mind of Shakespeare. It is the thought of the great God… moving through His universe… with its worlds so big that our whole solar system would look like a grain of sand by comparison. And God stands out yonder and calls all of these millions of worlds as His sheep; He calls them all by name and leads them out across the vast sky.
I’d say this is the highest thought I know of, in the Bible or out. And God does this “by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26).
Lord, You are more immense than I can imagine, yet You are a personal God who knows me by name. I bow before You in awe. Amen.
Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. (Luke 24:5-6)
I do not mind telling you that within me I find the Easter message and the reality of the Resurrection more beautiful and glorious than the Christmas scene.
Christmas tells us that Jesus was born; that He was born for the humiliation of suffering and death and atonement.
But Easter is the radiant and glory-filled celebration of Christ’s mighty triumph over the grave and death and hell!
When Easter comes, our voices are raised in the triumphant chorus:
The three sad days had quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead!
There is the real beauty! This is more than the beauty of color; more than the beauty of outline or form; more than the beauty of physical proportion.
In the living Christ is the perfection of all beauty; and because He lives, we too shall live in the presence of His beauty and the beauties of heaven, forever!
Let not your exertions end in tears, mere weeping will do nothing without action. Get on your feet; ye that have voices and might, go forth and preach the gospel, preach it in every street and lane of this huge city; ye that have wealth, go forth and spend it for the poor, and sick, and needy, and dying, the uneducated, the unenlightened; ye that have time, go forth and spend it in deeds of goodness; ye that have power in prayer go forth and pray;—every one to his post, every one of you to your gun in this day of battle; now for God and for his truth; for God and for the right; let every one of us who knows the Lord seek to fight under his banner!