James Lindquist Books

James Lindquist Books

THE COBBLESTONE ROAD

Back to Eden | The Final Cup | Seeking God | Seeking Man | The Cobble Stone Road

Chapter Two | Chapter Three

Chapter One

Gethsemane

He fell prostrate on the ground, His arms laid at His sides.

Only a stoneís throw from His disciples, Jesus lay flat, agonizing in prayer to the point that He sweats great drops of blood. For the second of three times, He questioned His Father, ďO my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.Ē

Christ was born to walk the road to the Cross. It was His purpose, His destination, and it led Him to death. Because of His road to death, each road we take can lead us to life, if we are obedient and belong to Him. Christís ordeal began at the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Christ often came to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray to His Father [John 18:1, 2], but today was different. Tomorrow, He would die. Christ was born to walk the road to Calvary. It is why He came to Earth, and His journey down that road started in the Garden. Yes, tomorrow He would die, but in the Garden, Christ didnít think of Himself. His main focus was not only on His disciples, but for you and me.

Jesus lifted His voice to heaven and prayed a prayer of unity and oneness for His disciples and for those who followed Him because of their words. Christ also prayed that the time had now come for the Father to glorify His Son. His death would accomplish that for which the Father had sent Him [John 17:1 To read Jesusís full prayer, read John the 17th chapter.]. Prayer was very important to Christ, and praying to His Father was life to Him.

The Garden of Gethsemane is the place of decision. We all have our Gethsemane moment(s) where we have to choose between Godís will, our own, and between whatís right and whatís wrong. Jesus had just made His decision in obedience to the Father. He would, in fact, have to drink from the cup of suffering. God the Father answered Christís prayer in that moment, as Judas came with a multitude of soldiers to betray Him with a kiss [A kiss was a customary act to show friendship of another. Otherwise, the Romans would not have recognized Christ.].

Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. [Matthew 26:48 KJV]

Not all of our choices will result in death, but just like the soldiers whom held Christ fast, the enemy holds our minds fast as well. However, when we have a standard such as Christ and His obedience to His Father, it is much easier. Christís obedience was exemplary and without fail, even the death of the Cross.

Christ knew exactly what was going to happen before it transpired, but He gladly went to the Cross despite the suffering He would have to go through, for the Bible says that because of the joy set before Him, He endured the Cross [Hebrews 12:2]. Christ walked the road that would eventually lead Him to His agonizing death on the Cross [ ].

The road that Christ walked was the Via Dolorosa, which is Latin for ďThe Way of Grief.Ē The Scriptures say that the Cross was His destination [ ]. Because of Christís road to death, we can now travel the road to life, but only through Him. Christ went from life to death for us, so that we could go from death to life.

WORDS ON PAPER

Most believers and probably quite a few unbelievers have either read or heard of the account of Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and walked the road carrying His Cross.

How can we understand the consequences of what we are supposed to feel, learn, understand, and obey if the words seem like they are just that, words on paper. A prime example is the narrative concerning the road that Christ walked while carrying His Cross-bar. Over the years, I have personally minimized those events. Oh, Iíve read the words alright many, many times, but only as words on paper in the Bible. Then I thank Him in my spirit for doing that for me, and then I go about my day. I feel ashamed for taking Him for granted and for not studying about His ordeal on the way to the Cross and His terrible death on the Cross, and He did it for me.

Why didnít I ask Christ in my prayers, ďHow did it affect you Lord? What actually happened to you? How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me?Ē A simple ďThank youĒ doesnít even come close to an appropriate response, given the amount of suffering He gladly endured [Hebrews 12:2; Luke ] for me. The amazing thing is, He did it while I was yet a sinner []. They were NOT JUST WORDS ON PAPER. Those words actually happened to Him and they had consequences.

No movie, book, or conversation could even come close to depicting the physical and emotional pain that Christ suffered on the Via Dolorosa and on the Cross. How can we learn of the magnitude and level of Christís love for us by merely reading in the Bible that Christ died for our sins ? Donít get me wrong, even reading about that selfless act is unfathomable to me and I DO thank Him every day for His sacrificial death. Nevertheless, how many of us, me included, have just read those words on paper, thanked Him, and went about our daily business?

In the next chapter, The Via Dolorosa, I have researched some doctorís accounts of the physical and emotional pain that Christ actually suffered on the Cross. This will be in stark contrast to just the words on paper. To show the magnitude of Christís love for us, I have endeavored to depict what Christ actually suffered for us given the account in the Bible. We must remember that Christ was not only fully God, but He was also fully man. The Bible says that, ď. . .He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. . .[ ].Ē

Christ knew that it was life to His disciples and all the generations that followed Him, so with a face full of agony and anguish in His voice, He began to pray. Although it would be His last prayer, all of His followers present and future, needed the prayer of unity He was about to pray to the Father.

Christís human body was starting to react to the circumstances of stress, anxiety, and the pain He was about to experience, so the Son of Man probably didnít feel much like praying that evening because of His thoughts concerning His followers and of the upcoming events in His own life. His whole body ached. As Christ prayed on the Mount of Olives, it set the stage for the beginning of Christís journey down the Via Dolorosa. The suffering and actual events leading to the Cross was about to begin, and it all started in Garden of Gethsemane.

THE PAIN BEGINS

The Romans were literally going to nail Christ to a Cross with six to nine inch spikes, and His only thought at that moment was a prayer of unity, sanctification, and glorification for those that walked with Him and for all the generations who would believe on Him because of their words [John 17:20, 21c].

When Christ asked His Father if the cup could pass from Him [Matthew 26:39, 42],Ē our Lord wasnít thinking, ďWhat have I gotten myself into? I am afraid Father and can I change my mind? Do I have to drink from this cup?Ē What Jesus asked the Father was, ďWill my death really save mankind and must I die to save them, but not my will but thine be done.Ē Jesus was happy to die for His Bride as Hebrews 12:2 declares. . .for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. Jesus was not afraid but his humanness spoke out.

As He lay there, praying to the Father, his heart felt like it would jump out of His chest. He felt a little dizzy and light-headed because of the blood that coursed through His veins. He could just about feel each pump as His temples throbbed, giving Him a headache that felt like it would split His head in two. He had stabbing pains and light pressure to His neck and face area. The muscles in His arms and legs were so tense and tight that they felt paralyzed. His chest ached because of the tension in His body as He contemplated what He was about to go through.

Because of the tightness in His chest cavity, He couldnít fully expand His rib cage in order to breathe properly . Therefore, as He prayed, He had a tremendous shortness of breath. However, His humanness was not going to deny Him this last opportunity to communicate with His Father. Jesus began to sweat great drops of blood.

Hematohidrosis is a rare condition where capillaries that surround the sweat glands burst under severe stress, and bleed through the sweat glands, as Luke 22:42 describes. Anyone in this state of emotional agony is surely going through an extreme case of stress and anguish as the Bible clearly points out [extremely sorrowful scripture]. There are a number of physiological manifestations of people going through extreme stress, agony, anguish, or grief to the point of sweating blood.

Actually, nobody knows exactly how Jesus felt or what was really going through His mind the night before His crucifixion. All we can do is speculate because of the information in the Bible and our present day physicianís knowledge of manís anatomy. All of His pains and thoughts , He took with Him to heaven minus the excerpts given to us through the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John [Matthew 26: 36-52; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:40-53; John 18:1-11].

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. [Luke 22:44 KJV]

Crucifixion was a horrible way to die and Christ was well aware of what was about to transpire. Christ knew that Judas was returning with the soldiers to arrest Him, so He left to check on His disciples a couple times. After leaving His prayer site and talking to Peter, Jesus went back to His spot to pray and again fell prostrate still feeling exceedingly sorrowful [Matthew 26:38]. He felt as though His heart would break. His chest would have been tight and His breathing constricted. Because of His humanness, He was no doubt in tears as He thought of and prayed for those that would follow Him.

Contrary to some beliefs, Christís burden or worry was not His physical death [Isaiah 50:5-8; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 12:2], it was all the sin that Godís wrath would place on Him on the Cross [Psalms 75:8; Jeremiah 25:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21]. Christís fellowship with His Father would also be broken [Psalms 22:1, Matthew 27:40]. As a preview, listen to Christ as He addresses His Father on the Cross, ďMy God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?Ē This is why I follow Jesus. He is my standard and I want to be like Him.

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATION

In this book, The Cobble Stone Road, I have already given a biblical illustration from Godís Word by telling of Christís ordeal on His way to and on the Cross itself. Therefore, Iíd like to take this opportunity briefly to explain what I will be doing in this segment of each chapter.

So my readers donít feel alone in the journeys down their own road(s), I will endeavor to give a biblical illustration of similar characters in the Bible that have traveled down the same road or similar road. The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun. I hope that this segment blesses you my reader(s).

LIFE APPLICATION

There comes a time in every believerís life that they have to choose between Godís will, their will, and what is right or wrong. Our decisions show the commitment to obedience and to Christ. It also shows the character of the person and the true condition/position of the heart. One-hundred percent of the time, if we have the chance to pray about an action, the Holy Spirit will give us unction and the way we should go.

Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss. We betray Christ by falling to temptation. When we sin, we put Christ back up on the Cross. Make no mistake, when we sin, it IS a choice. Sometimes I think that the prevailing thought is that if we donít go to our gethsemane to talk to God about it, God wonít know or itís not as big a sin because we didnít pray and ask about it to God first. We can blame it on the circumstance and ďIt all happened so fastĒ scenario. We all know that it would just be a rationalization and justification of the wrong anyway. Trust me, He knows and it IS a sin. Probably a bigger sin because we knew it was wrong and did it anyway and worse, we by-passed God to do it. They call that presumptuous sin.

Anyway, back to Jesus, the Son of Man, in Gethsemane who is still prone before God praying for unity in the body. Jesus was not only God, but He was human as well, so He suffered and felt every human pain linked to the symptoms and characteristics of stress, anguish, grief, and hematohidrosis. Although this was the case, His prayer wavered not and He continued to pray in agony. However, and sad to say, His ordeal leading to the Cross had only just begun. The High Priest Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, and the false witnesses hadnít finished with Him yet. They couldnít wait to ambush Him.

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Copyright © James C. Lindquist 2005

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