Sermon 2368. The Living Care of the Dying Christ
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, JULY 8, 1894.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 15, 1888.
"Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He: if, therefore, you seek Me, let these go their way: that the saying might befulfilled which He spoke, Of those which You gave Me have I lost none." John 18:8,9.
THE two remarkable miracles which our Lord worked in the Garden of Gethsemane ought not to be lightly passed over. The firstwas the falling to the ground of the soldiers and the servants of the priests. Jesus did but speak to them and there was suchpower and majesty about His Presence and His voice that, "they went backward, and fell to the ground." They were quite unableto seize Him. Here was a display, in some measure, of Christ's Divine Power. These men would have fallen into the grave andinto Hell, itself, if Jesus had put forth the full force of His strength! He only spoke a word and down they fell-they hadno power whatever against Him. Beloved, take comfort from this miracle! When the enemies and foes of Christ come against Him,He can easily overthrow them. Many times have there been crises in the Church's history when it seemed as if the Truth ofGod would be destroyed. Then has come the opportunity for Divine interposition. A word from Christ has vanquished His enemies!They that were waiting, like lions, ready to leap upon their prey, have been disappointed. Jesus has but spoken and they havefallen backward to the ground. Therefore, take heart and be not dismayed even in the darkest hour. Let Christ only utter aword and the victory is certain to be with
The other miracle was this, that seeing the company that came together to take Him, He should be able, at pleasure, to screenHis disciples so that not one of them was injured. The ear of the High Priest's servant was cut off-it was the opposite partythat received the wound-but no ear of Peter or finger of John was struck. The Apostles escaped altogether unharmed. The werenot able to protect themselves, being a very small number compared with the posse that had come forth from the High Priest,yet their Master preserved them! From this we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ is able to take care of His own. When theyseem to be like so many lambs in the midst of wolves, He can keep them so that no wolf can devour them. He has done it andHe will continue to do so! "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." He willpreserve you by His own miraculous power and you need not be dismayed at any force that is arrayed against you.
Think, then, of those two miracles. You may need to remember them-there may come a time when it shall be a great joy for youto think of Christ, all ruddy from the bloody sweat, yet driving back His adversaries with only a word, and rescuing the littlehandful of His disciples from anything like harm.
But in my text I notice something which seems to me very remarkable-"If, therefore," said Jesus, "you seek Me, let these gotheir way: that the saying might be fulfilled." After such an expression, you naturally expect some Old Testament text-somethingsaid by David in the Psalms or by one of the Prophets-but it is not so! It is, "that the saying might be fulfilled, whichHe spoke, "Of them which You gave Me have I lost none." It is but an hour or two since Jesus uttered this sentence, but itis already among the Inspired Scriptures and it begins to take effect and to be fulfilled at once! It is not the age of God'sWord, but the Truth of it that constitutes its power! What Christ had said that very night in prayer was as true and as muchthe Word of the King as that which God had spoken by His Spirit through holy men ages before!
Beloved, learn this lesson-the Word of Christ is to be depended upon! You may hang your whole destiny upon it! What Christhas said is full of the Truth of God. He is, Yes and Amen, and so are all His Words-they stand fast forever
and ever, like His own eternal Godhead. Therefore, since this Word of Christ, which had only just been spoken, must be fulfilled,believe that every Word of His will be carried out to the utmost! Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one Word whichwas spoken by our Savior shall ever fail-it shall not fail even the least of us in our worst hour of peril! I read this Truthof God in the text with very great delight. We might have expected to find an Old Testament Scripture quoted here, but theNew Testament Scripture is put upon the same level as the Old and, coming from the lips of Christ, we are pleased to see itso soon fulfilled.
The soldiers and officers from the chief priests had come forth that night especially to arrest Christ. Peter, James, John,Bartholomew, Thomas and the rest of the Apostles are all there, but Judas has come to betray, not the servants, but theirMaster. And they who are with the traitor have come to take not the disciples, but their Lord. To me, there is something encouragingabout this fact, although it is a dismal one. The fight of the great adversary is not so much against us as against our Master.Satan's emissaries are very furious, sometimes, with the faithful defenders of the Truth, but their fury is not so much againstthem as against the Truth and against the Christ who is the center of that Truth. In olden times, they hated Luther, Calvinand Zwingli, and the rest of the Reformers, but the main point of attack was the Doctrine of Justification by Faith in theLord Jesus Christ.
And at this day the great fight is around the Cross. Did Jesus die as His people's Substitute? That is the question and thereare some, I grieve to say it, to whom that text is applicable, "He that despised Moses' Law died without mercy, under twoor three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot theSon of God, and has counted the blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despiteunto the Spirit of Grace?" This is the chief aim of the enemy's assaults-to get rid of Christ, to get rid of the Atonement,to get rid of His suffering in the place of men! They say they can embrace the rest of the Gospel, but what, "rest," is there?What is there left? A bloodless, Christless Gospel is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill- it neither honors Godnor converts the sons of men!
This is our consolation, that the attack is, after all, against the Master, Himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ is still the greattarget for the archer's arrows. Though His enemies do not always let His disciples go their way, yet they do seek Him-it isagainst Him that they rave most of all. As it is the quarrel of God's Covenant, He will fight it out to the end! And so faras your part in the battle is concerned, as it is for His Truth, His eternal power and Godhead and His great Sacrifice, youmay safely go through with it, for he who fights for this cause shall surely have God with him.
Now let us come to our text and try to learn some lessons from it. I notice here, first, Christ's dying care for His disciples.Then, next, I see that His care extends to their bodies. And, thirdly, I observe that His care offers Himself instead of them.He thrusts Himself upon the edge of the adversaries' sword and says, "If, therefore, you seek Me, let these go their way."
I. First, then, I call upon you to notice in our text CHRIST'S DYING CARE FOR HIS DISCIPLES. Let me correct what I have saidand put it, THE LIVING CARE OF THE DYING CHRIST, for you see He is occupied, first of all, with His disciples' safety. Thesoldiers have come to seize Him, but He does not seek to escape. They bind Him, but He does not burst His bonds. They willtake Him to prison and to death, but He has not a word to say in His own defense. He utters no curse against His persecutors.His one thought is for His disciples! His ruling passion is strong in death-His love still masters Him.
This was the more wonderful because He was in the first brunt of the danger. He had been betrayed by Judas and the High Priest'sservants were gathering about Him to capture Him, yet He was calm and quiet, and His one thought was concerning the 11 whowere with Him. Usually, we become quieter when we get used to a trouble-it is in the first fluster of it that we are disconcertedand thrown off balance. I suppose it is so with you. I know it is so with me. We learn, after a little while, to look calmlyaround us. We gird up the loins of our mind and we begin to think as we should think-but at first we are like birds drivenout to sea by a rough wind-that have not learned, yet, to manage their wings in the gale. It was not so with our Savior. Inthat first moment of attack He still thought of His disciples. Oh, the splendor of that love which could not be disturbed!Many waters could not quench it even at their first breaking out, nor could the floods drown it when they were swollen totheir highest! Beloved, Jesus never forgets you who are His own. Never does anything happen in this world or in Heaven thatleads Him to forget you. He has engraved your names upon
the palms of His hands-they are written upon His heart! So be it, the first brunt of your battle or of His own, He still thinksof you and cares for you.
But it is more remarkable, still, that Jesus thought of His disciples in the faintness of His agony. All crimson from thebloody sweat, He rose from under the olive trees, came forward and stood there in the torchlight before His persecutors. Butthe light that fell upon His brow revealed no care for anything but the safety of His followers. His whole soul had gone outto them. That crimson sweat meant a heart flowing out at every pore with love for those whom His Father had given Him, andwhom He had so long preserved. I doubt not that He was faint with the dreadful agony. He must have been brought to the verylowest point of endurance by it, yet He still thought of His disciples! Beloved, when you and I are sick and faint, otherpeople do not expect us to think of them. We grow a little selfish when we are weak and ill-we want someone to moisten ourlips, we expect our friends to watch over us and wipe the sweat from our brow. It was not so with our Master! He came, notto be ministered unto, but to minister! And He does so by saying to the rabble throng, "If, therefore, you seek Me, let thesego their way."
And mark, dear Friends, that our Lord Jesus was not only in the brunt of danger, and in the faintness of His agony, but Hewas in full prospect of a cruel death. He knew all that was to be done to Him. When you and I have to suffer, we do not knowwhat is before us-it is a happy circumstance that we do not. But Jesus knew that they would buffet Him, that they would blindfoldHim, that they would spit in His face, that they would scourge Him. He knew that the crown of thorns would tear His temples.He knew that He would be led forth like a malefactor, bearing the gallows on His shoulder. He knew that they would nail Hisfeet and hands to the cruel Cross. He knew that He would cry, "I thirst." He knew that His Father must forsake Him on accountof the sin of man that would be laid upon Him. He knew all that! These huge Atlantic billows of grief already cast their sprayin His face. His lips were salt with the brine of His coming grief, but He did not think of that-His one thought was for HisBeloved, those whom His Father had given Him. Till He dies, He will keep His eye on His sheep and He will grasp His Shepherd'scrook with which to drive the foe from them. Oh, the all-absorbing, self-consuming love of Christ! Verily, it was like coalsof juniper which have a most vehement flame! Do you know that love, Beloved? If so, let your hearts reciprocate it-lovingHim in return with all the strength of your life and all the wealth of your being! Even then you can never love Him as Hehas loved you.
I must add that it was all the more remarkable that Jesus should continue to think of His disciples at such a time when Heknew what they were. They had been asleep, even while He was in the bloody sweat! Even the three whom He had chosen as Hisbodyguard and stationed within a stone's throw of His terrible agony, had slept! Jesus also knew that the 11 would all forsakeHim and flee, and that one of them would even deny Him. Yet He thought of them. O Lord, how can You think of such sinful creaturesas we are? I feel glad that these Apostles were not perfect. We must not rejoice in anything that is evil, but still, it issome comfort to me that though they were such poor creatures as they were, Jesus cared for them, for now I can believe thatHe loves me!
Though I sleep when I ought to wake and watch with Him, yet He loves me. Although, under the brunt of a strong temptation,I may flee-He still loves me! Yes, and even if I should deny Him, yet I can understand that, as He loved Peter, He may stilllove me. O faulty saints, you who love Him and yet often fail Him! You who trust Him and yet are oftentimes dismayed! Gatherstrength, I pray you, from this wonderful love of Jesus! Is not the love of Christ a mass of miracles, all wonders packedtogether? It is not a subject for surprise that He should love, but that He should love such worms as we are-that He shouldlove us when we were dead in trespasses and sins, that He should love us into life, should love us despite our faults, shouldlove us to perfection-and should love us till He brings us to share His Glory! Rejoice, then, in this wondrous care of Christ-thedying Christ with a living care for His disciples!
II. But now, secondly, HIS CARE EXTENDS TO THEIR BODIES.
I will not be long upon this point, but I want you to note some of the sweetness there is in it. When I was reading to you,just now, you must have noticed that our Lord said, "Those that You gave Me, I have kept, and none of them is lost." SurelyHe meant that He kept them from wandering into sin, did He not? Did He not mean that He kept them unto eternal salvation?Undoubtedly He did, but the greater includes the less. He who keeps a man, keeps the whole man- spirit, soul and body. Soour Lord Jesus, here, interprets His own prayer, which dealt with the souls of His people. He mainly interprets it as to theirbodies, for He bade those who came to seize Him to let His disciples go, saying, "If, therefore, you seek Me, let these gotheir way."
You say to me, "That is a small interpretation of a great utterance." I know it is and that is the comfort of it, that ifthere are small meanings to the promises, you may quote them and pray for them, as well as believe in and pray for the greaterand immeasurable meaning of the promises! I like to believe that He who loves me as an immortal spirit, loves me as a mortalman. He who loves me as I shall be before His Throne in Glory, loved me as I was when I hung upon my mother's breast-and lovesme as I now am-with many a weakness and infirmity clinging to me! He who takes care of the soul, takes care of the body, too.
Notice that this care of our Lord was effectual. Is it not amazing that none of those soldiers and servants of the High Priesttouched one of the eleven? Is it not remarkable that Malchus, having lost his right ear, did not feel it his duty to thrustat Peter? But the Savior interposes and just touches the wounded ear, and it is healed! And Peter is allowed to go. That actof Peter was enough to bring on a battle royal all round and we know that the whole eleven had only two swords between them.They could have made only a very feeble stand against a band of armed men, yet not one of them was injured. How well doesJesus protect His own!
What is more remarkable, the Apostles were not harmed at the time of Christ's death. It would not at all have surprised meif the mob that cried, "Crucify Him, crucify Him," had also said, "Here are some of His disciples, let us also put them todeath! Let us increase the agonies of the dying Nazarene by the slaughter of His disciples before His eyes." Yet not a dogmoved his tongue against them! And when it was reported that Christ had risen from the dead, why did not His enemies pounceupon Mary Magdalene and the rest of the women? Forty days was Jesus on the earth and I do not find that in all that time therewas any hindrance to the coming or going anywhere of any of His disciples! After the Holy Spirit had been poured out, therecame a time of persecution, but until then it was not in the Savior's mind that the Jews should touch one of His disciples-andthey could not. The devil cannot go any farther than his chain permits-and the worst enemies of Christ can do no more thanChrist allows. What an effectual care was this of the Master which held the broad shield of His Divine protection not onlyover the eleven, but also over all the rest of the faithful! He was at His lowest when they took Him, bound Him and led Himaway, but even then, with His Sovereign Word, He protected His people from all harm-as to their bodies as well as their souls.
Notice, also, that it was necessary that they should have special protection. Jesus meant them all to remain alive to seeHim after His death, that they might be witnesses of His Resurrection. They were a little handful of seed corn and He wouldnot have one grain wasted, because it was by that precious wheat that His Church was to be fed and the world was to be sownwith spiritual life!
Besides, they were not ready, yet, to bear persecution. Afterwards they bore it manfully, joyfully-but just now they werepoor feeble children until the Spirit of God was poured out. Brothers and Sisters, the Lord Jesus Christ can shelter us fromsickness and from every kind of bodily affliction until we are fit to bear it. And He can also preserve us from death tillour work is done. It is a good saying, though it is not a Scriptural one, "We are immortal till our work is done." If Godhas given you anything to do, get to the doing of it! The time is short, but dream not that you shall be cut off too soon!You have a work for your time and you shall have time for your work. Believe it and you may go between the jaws of behemothwithout a fear, while God has work for you to accomplish for Him! Therefore, be not afraid, for Jesus says, "Let these gotheir way."
Once more, the care which the Lord took of His people was much better than their own care. See, Peter is going to take careof his Master, but he makes a poor mess of it. But when his Master took care of him, that was a very different affair. Peteris going to fight for his Brothers-out comes the sword-off goes the ear of Malchus! And Peter probably regretted that he hadnot cut off his head. But what good did Peter do? He only increased the danger they were in and made the men feel the morefurious against them. But Christ's Word was ample-here was sufficient defense for all the Apostles, "Let these go their way,"and go their way they did! Brothers and Sisters, we would do a deal better in many things if we did not do anything at all!There is many a man who is drowning and makes his drowning sure by his struggling. I am told that if he could but lie stillon his back, he would float! And I believe that in many a trouble we make the trouble 10 times worse by our kicking and plunging.
"O rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Especially do so if it is a matter of scandal. If anybody speaks evil ofyou, do not answer him. I have had a great deal of experience of this kind-perhaps as much as anybody-and I have always foundthat if I get a spot of mud anywhere on my coat, and I proceeded to brush it off, it is much worse than be-
fore. Leave it alone till it is dry-then it will come off easily. Perhaps even then you had better leave somebody else todo your clothes-brushing and your boot-cleaning-you cannot do it nearly so well, yourself, as somebody else can do it foryou. I say again, we should do better, often, if we did nothing. These 11 Apostles did best when Peter had put up that uglyold sword of his and left off fighting and, at His Master's Word, went away safe and sound from the armed men who had arrestedHis Lord.
Beloved, you are all right if you are in Jesus Christ's hands-right for your body, right for your estate, right for your character,right for little things as well as for great-if you just leave all in those dear hands that never fail, because they act forthe dear heart that never ceases to beat with infinite affection towards all those whom the Father has given to
III. I have continued longer than I intended, so I am coming, now, to the third and last point, which is this- CHRIST'S CARELED HIM TO OFFER HIMSELF INSTEAD OF HIS PEOPLE.
Jesus said, "If, therefore, you seek Me, let these go their way." This was as much as to say, "You cannot hurt both Myselfand My people." This is a great Truth of God, though I put it very simply to you. When the judgments of God are abroad, itis not possible that they should fall on both Christ and His people. Was Jesus Christ the Substitute for His people? Grantthat, then, if the punishment of sin fell on Christ, it cannot fall on those for whom Christ died! It is not according tonatural justice, much less Divine Justice, that the Substitute should suffer first, and then the person for whom He stoodas Substitute should also suffer. That cannot be! Why have a Substitute at all unless that Substitute, by His suffering, clearsthose for whom He was substituted?
I will give you a very simple illustration. You will find it in the Book of Deuteronomy. There is the old Divine ordinancethat when a man found a bird's nest and there were young birds in the nest, if he took the young, he must let the mother birdgo free, he must not take both-that was contrary to the Divine Law. So, Christ may die, or His people may die-but not bothof them. Justice will not have it that they shall both suffer. And the Lord Jesus Christ gives a tongue to that great Lawwhen He says, "If you seek Me, here I am, but let these go their way, for you cannot take us both." That were contrary tothe sacred Law and to the Divine equity which lies at the bottom of everything that is true. Did Christ, my Ransom, die forme? Then I shall not die. Did He pay my debt? Then it is paid and I shall not be called upon to pay it-
"If You have my discharge procured, And freely in my place endured The whole of wrath Divine. Payment God cannot twice demand-First at my bleeding Surety's hand, And then, again, at mine."
Did Jesus suffer in my place outside the city gate? Then, turn you, my Soul, unto your rest, since He died for you! Justicecould not claim both the Surety and those for whom He stood as Substitute! And, Beloved, it was the Master who died. Theydid seek Him, they did take Him, they did crucify Him-He did bear it all as His people's Substitute. "The Lord has laid onHim the iniquity of us all." Do not be deceived about this matter, but grip it as a fact most sure that the Lord Jesus Christdid bear His people's sins in His own body on the tree. "The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripeswe are healed." Brothers and Sisters, I am not making this up and telling you words of my own. These are the precious Truthsof Holy Writ, Divinely Inspired. Oh, that all would believe them!
Christ has suffered in the place of His people. What then? As I have said to you, before, both cannot suffer, therefore, asJesus suffered, you who are His people are clear. Perhaps you will go down to the grave. Unless the Lord should speedily come,we shall die, but, since Jesus died, death cannot hold us! The resurrection trumpet will ring out its silver note and thiswill be the message to the dull cold ear of death, "Since I died, let these go their way," and every sepulcher shall openwide, the caverns of death shall no longer enclose the bodies of the saints, but from beds of dust and silent clay the wholeof Christ's redeemed shall rise! Because He lives, they shall also live! Death sought Him and, therefore, death must let thesewho belong to Him go their way!
And as for Justice, there comes the dread tremendous day, the day for which all other days were made-the Day of Judgment andof condemnation of ungodly men! Shall I stand shivering before that eternal Judgement Seat? No, not so! Shall I feel the earthquake beneath me and see Heaven splitting above me, and the stars falling like withered leaves in
autumn? Doubtless it will be so. Will the avenging angel come with his dread sword of fire and sweep us poor sinful ones away?He will, unless we are in Christ! But if we are among the blood-redeemed ones, he must stay his fiery vengeance, for thereshall come a voice from the risen and reigning Savior, "You have smitten Me, therefore let these go their way." And becauseHe died for us, we shall go our way! Which way? Up yonder shining staircase made of light! Up where the angels come and go,we shall make our way, like children who run upstairs at home, up into the world of the Light of God and to the home of Glorywhere our Savior's face is the sun and His Presence makes Heaven! Yes, and this shall be our permit for ascending there-Jesushas loved us and has died to redeem us from our sins.
With this I close, dear Hearers. When I come into this pulpit and especially during the last two or three Sunday nights whenI have felt my head swim at the sight of you, I seem like one standing on a high cliff, half afraid to remain there-and Ithink to myself, "Shall I long preach to these people?" Well, well, whether I do or do not, I would press home this questionupon your consciences as I shall meet you in that Great Day-have you a share in Jesus Christ's love and care? Did He bearyour sins in His own body on the tree? Do you believe in Him? That is, do you trust Him? Have you put your soul into His handsthat He may save it? If so, you are justified by Him, you are saved in Him!
Say, dear Friend, next-do you obey Him? Is He your Master and Lord? Is His will the supreme law of your life? Or do you wishit to be so and pray to make it so? Then again you may go your way, for Christ has stood in your place. Do you suffer withHim? Are you willing to suffer for Him? There are some who will go with Christ if He will put on His silver slippers, Hispurple mantle and His jeweled crown. How good they are! How bravely will they say, "I am a Christian," when everybody willthrow primroses in their path! Yes, but when people sneer and call you an old Puritan, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or someother pretty name-and when those who preach to you are much abused and evil things are said of them-can you take the sideof a despised Christ? Can you stand at His Cross? Can you acknowledge Him when the blood is dripping from His wounds, wheneverybody thrusts out their tongue at Him and have ill words for the Crucified One? Can you say, "I still love Him"?
Remember the good Scotch woman, when Claverhouse had murdered her godly husband. "Ah," he said, "what do you think of yourbonny husband, now?" She answered, "I always thought my man was very beautiful, but I never saw him look as lovely as he doesnow, that he has died for his Master." Can you say the same of Christ? He was always precious to me. I love Him in every shapeand form, but when I see Him put on His crimson robe and bleed at every pore for me. When the rubies are in His hands andon His feet, and I see Him still despised and rejected of men, I love Him more than ever! And I love His Cross and take itup. I love His shame and His reproach, and count it "greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." If it is so with you. Ifyou are with Him in His shame, I will guarantee that you shall be with Him in
I count it to be a mean position to be only with a reigning Christ on earth and to go with Him only in fair weather. Oh, butthis is the pledge and proof of love-if you are with Him when the snowflakes blow into your face and the storm comes hurtlingagainst you-and you can follow bravely where He leads the way! God make you such followers of the Crucified! May your feetknow what it is to be pricked with thorns, or your head will never know what it is to feel the weight of the Glory diadem!May you be willing to be despised and rejected, for if not, you have thrown away your crown! God bless you, dear Friends,and blessed be His name for helping me, again, to speak to you tonight! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: John 17:1-12; 18:1-14.
1. These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come. This is, in a very specialsense, our Lord's prayer. What a word that is from the lips of Jesus, "Father"! This was the night of His deepest sorrow andHis heaviest woe, but He begins His prayer with this tender expression, "Father, the hour is come." The hour of darkness,the hour of His passion and death had now arrived.
1. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son, also, may glorify You. Did Jesus look upon His suffering as His Glory? He does not merelypray, "Sustain Your Son," but, "Glorify Your Son." In truth, our Lord's lowest stoop was His highest Glory! He was never moreresplendent than when He hung upon the Cross-that was His true spiritual throne, so He prayed, "Glorify Your Son"-Enable Himto bear the agony and to pass through it to Glory. "That Your Son, also,
may glorify You." The death of Christ was a great glorifying of God. We see His love and His justice rendered more gloriousin the death of Christ than they would have been by any other method!
2. As You have given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. In thisverse you get the doctrines of General and Particular Redemption blended. By His death, Christ obtained power over all flesh.His death had some relation to every man, but the special objective of it was the salvation of the elect. The purpose of theshower is to water one particular field, but the rain falls everywhere, so plenteous is the bounty of God. The objective ofChrist's Atonement is to purchase eternal life for those who were given to Him by His Father, but He has also obtained powerover all flesh.
3. And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. To know Godis eternal life. If you know God, if you know Jesus Christ whom He has sent, you are spiritually quickened. That knowledgehas brought to you, no, it is, in itself, the new life-"This is life eternal"-not life for a few years but life eternal. Markthe final perseverance of the saints, how they shall hold on and hold out forever.
4. I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave Me to do. Jesus regards His work as alreadydone, although He had yet to die, to pay the ransom price for His people. Yet, by a leap of holy faith, He says, "I have finishedthe work which You gave Me to do."
5. And now, O Father, glorify You, Me, with Your own Self with the Glory which I had with You before the world was. Jesushad laid aside His Glory for our sakes. Now He asks that His work, being regarded as done, His Glory may be given back toHim.
6. I have manifested Your name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world: Yours they were, and You gave them Me: andthey have kept Your Word. God's people belong to Him. He gives them to His Son-Christ gives them His Word and they keep it."They have kept Your Word." Do we keep God's Word? Do we hold to it? Do we make it the guide of our whole life? Do we seekto obey it? This is the token of God's chosen people.
7-12. Now they have known that all things whatever You have given Me are of You. For I have given unto them the Words whichYou gave Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that Youdid send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which You have given Me; for they are Yours. And allMine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world,and I come to You, Holy Father. Keep through Your own name those whom You have given Me, that they way be one, as We are.While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name: those that You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost,but the son ofperdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Christ always has kept His people! He still keeps His peopleand He will keep His people forever! The sheep shall be delivered into the hands of the Father in full number-there shallnot be one of them missing in that day when they shall pass under the rod of the Great Shepherd. We cannot read all this prayerof our Lord, tonight. We must now go, in the language of the next chapter, with the Master into the garden of His grief.
John 18:1. When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Kidron. A dark, foul brook through whichflowed the blood and refuse from the Temple. King David crossed that brook one night in bitter sorrow-and now the Savior crossedit when it was near to midnight-"He went forth with His disciples over the brook
1-2. Where was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples. And Judas, also, which betrayed Him, knew the place:for Jesus ofttimes resorted there with His disciples. Our Lord went there to pray and Judas knew that this was His custom.Are we such men of prayer that others know where we pray? Have you some familiar place where you go to meet your Lord? I amafraid that many know where we trade and many know where we preach but, perhaps, few know where we pray. God grant that wemay be often at the Mercy Seat! We would be better men and women if we were more frequently at the Throne of Grace.
3. Judas, then, having received a band of men and officers from the chiefpriests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns andtorches and weapons. "Lanterns" to give light to the Sun! "Torches" to discern the Light of the World! "Weapons" with whichto fight with the Lamb of God, the unarmed Sufferer! Strange treatment, this, for Him who came to save and bless!
4. 5. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should came upon Him, went forth and said unto them, Whom do you seek? Theyanswered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them, I am He. Or, "I Am." It is remarkable that Jesus should, in His betrayal,twice use this expression, thus uttering the very name of Jehovah!
5. And Judas, also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. What a hardened wretch he must have been, to be able to stand withthem! One would have thought that, having betrayed his Master, he would have hidden himself away for shame, but no, "Judas,also, which betrayed Him, stood with them." His heart must have been steeled.
6. As soon, then, as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward and fell to the ground. Christ's Almighty Power castthem down at once! He needed not to lift His hand or even His finger-He only said, "I am" and, "they went backward and fellto the ground."
7. Then asked He them, again, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Do they return to the fray? Having oncefelt Christ's Divine Power, do they summon courage enough to attack Him again? Yes, for there is no limit to the malice andimpudence of the human heart!
8-10. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He: if, therefore, you seek Me, let these go their way: that the saying mightbe fulfilled, which He spoke, Of them which You gave Me have I lost none. Then Simon Peter-Always ready to boil over. Alwaysfull of zeal and rash impetuosity, Peter-
10. Having a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest's servant and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Mal-chus.Peter struck at his head-he was not content with trying to wound-he meant to kill Malchus. But he, "cut off his right ear."
11-14. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up your sword into the sheath: the cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drinkit? Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound Him, and led Him away to Annas first; forhe was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the High Priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to theJews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Saying a great deal more than he thought he was saying,for he uttered a great Gospel Truth when he said, "It was expedient that one man should die for the people."