The following are excerpts from Tony Williamson’s new book, “Law And Grace: Two Mutually Exclusive Paths to Righteousness.”
Read Part One
...They ascended the steep incline to Gethsemane's grove of olives, lying at the base of The Mount of Olives, leaving behind and below them the shimmering glow of lamps from a million people who had crowded the Holy City for the Passover festival. As He enters the Garden to pray, Mark records our Lord's deep emotional distress, for He knows He is about to fulfil His prophetic role as Suffering Servant and bring to fulfilment the great prophecy of Genesis 3:15 made four thousand years before in another Garden;
And He took Peter, James and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. (Mk. 14:33)
(By the way, have you ever noticed that leading figures of the Bible tend to have an "inner circle"? Moses had Aaron and his sons - Num.3:9-10. Although his close circle did not advise him well, Job had “three friends” - Job 2:11; David had "three mighty men" - 2 Sam. 23:9; and Jesus His "inner circle" whom He takes farther into the Garden of Gethsemane with Him - Peter, James and John. Who is YOUR inner circle? With whom do you share your deepest burdens? With whom do you pray? To whom are you accountable? Hmm...)
As our Lord prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, the name of the garden strangely betrays the extreme and crushing emotional stress our Lord was dealing with. (In Greek a "Gethsemane" means a "wine press". A very heavy, rounded stone was used to press juice out of the grapes, crushing them to pulp as it rolled over them). Our Lord was being crushed like these grapes, in spirit and soul, as He anticipated bearing the sins of the world. The sense of the Greek verbs used by Matthew and Mark is very graphic, describing His "deep distress" and that He was "in the grip of a shuddering horror in the face of the dreadful prospect before Him," In Matthew 26:37 the Greek used portrays "An anxiety from which there was no escaping and in which He saw no help or comfort."
A further analysis of the Greek words and tenses is very telling. Luke records that Jesus KNELT down. (Luke 22:41-44). Matthew records that Jesus FELL on His face (Matthew 26:39 - aorist tense, denoting a past completed action). But Mark is most graphic; his account is like a motion picture. He describes the scene in the Greek imperfect tense that gives the sense that in His agony, HE KEPT FALLING TO THE GROUND, REPEATEDLY (Mark 14:35-36). THIS WAS "GETHSEMANE ON STEROIDS"! This was His time; this was His hour! This was His time; As the awful agony of impending Calvary came before Him He was in deep mental and emotional anguish at the thought of bearing sin and its penalty, death. For it was as a man He died for us and it was as a man He prayed:
"Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me (referring symbolically to the fourth cup left in the unfinished Seder). I want to do Your will, but do I have to drink this cup? Is there any other way? I don't know. I'll do whatever You want, but the crushing anticipation of this...Father, I am a man, and in my humanity, I don't know. Is there any other way"?
"There isn't," replies His Father, "You will have to drink the fourth cup. You will have to close the Passover feast as both the Priest and the sacrifice. This is it"!
"All right Father, not my will but Thine be done...."
as He brushed off a strange, purple sweat from His arms, as the very blood vessels of His body broke their boundaries and blood mingled with sweat! (A rare but documented medical condition that is known today to occur under extreme stress called HEMATIDROSIS - recorded by Luke the Physician). For He felt the awful agony of impending Calvary and death was already reaching out to claim Him, and He felt its clammy hands...
About the Author
Tony Williamson, a linguist, paramedic, theologian and Bible scholar brings a multidisciplinary approach of Bible languages, medical science and theology in his intriguing new book to be published in May. The book is described by eminent scholar, Christian apologist and theologian, Rev. Dr. Clinton Chisholm as follow s:“Tony delights with exegetical care and theological finesse... Any believer who desires biblical truth as the inward part will be indebted to him for the conceptual clarity he brings to this controversial topic.” www.tonywilliamson.org
I am an author, motivational speaker, chartered financial consultant, linguist, paramedic,