This Study Guide is from The Rev. Adam Hamilton’s Course in the Last 24 Hours of Jesus’ life on earth. If you have a text book, read along with the corresponding chapters, and if you have a daily devotional you might start on Ash Wednesday. There are no hard and fast rules. You can do this at your own speed. Classes are on Sundays after church with Jim Poplin or on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 with Rev. Card. If neither of these times is convenient, you can follow along online at facebook.com/pumcnh/, or our website peterboroughumc.org. This information is shared for your enrichment.
Session 2 of 24 Hours That Changed the World
Study Guide #2
Agony is Not Defeat
Mark 14:32-42 32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray. ” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake. ” 35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want. ” 37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. ” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him, 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.
Monday: Re-read 14:32. Nelson’s Life Application Bible says Jesus chose a familiar place of work of which to pray one of his final prayers. The area around Jerusalem was rich with olive groves, and many people were employed at the commercial oil presses, or gethsemanes, to produce the city’s only export product. The garden mentioned here was a place where Jesus often went alone or with his disciples for prayer or relaxation. As a result, Judas had no trouble finding Jesus when he led the party to arrest him (John 18:1-2). The exact site of the garden is unknown today, but it was possibly on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley, opposite the Temple (see Mark. 13:3; John 18:1). Do you have a familiar place of prayer at home and/or at work; a place you can retreat to when you are excessively stressed or just to relax and enjoy the presence of the Spirit? If you don’t have one why not find or create one? Have you ever tried praying through tense situations at work? Why or why not? Write a prayer of admiration to God. Close your eyes and imagine yourself with God in the space that brings you the greatest delight. Now pray your prayer to God.
Tuesday: Re-read Mark 14:34. In this passage we see Jesus wrestling with his humanness. What words does your Bible use to describe his emotional state? I have found in these days that so often I am moving so fast it is difficult for me to be in touch with how I am feeling.
And yet, Jesus shows us that he dealt with his emotion. Can you express your emotional state today? Write it down.
Wednesday: Re-read 14:38. In The Message translation of the Bible this verse reads: “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Jesus was teaching the disciples the ways only the Spirit of God, through prayer, could help them avoid sin. He was teaching them in our natural human condition we have a propensity to sin. Read I Corinthians 10:12-13. Write a prayer to God that describes something inside of you that makes you look like a lazy dog sleeping by the fire. It might be helpful for you to think in terms of that something inside of you that keeps you from following God when you really want to. Or what is it you struggle and struggle with? Write this as a prayer to God. Start something like this: “God, I struggle so hard to… Ask God to show you a way out. Conclude the writing by thanking God for being faithful to show you a way out.
Thursday: Read Matthew 26:43-45. Jesus in the garden appears not only in Mark 14:32-42, but also in Luke 22:39-46 and Matthew 26:36-45. It appears that the disciples just don’t have the ‘right stuff’ for working with Jesus. And yet, he does not just throw up his hands in disgust and leave them in the garden as he goes to face his death. Do you stick with people even though they stumble? Do you see the shortcomings of your spouse, children, boss, coworkers, and neighbors as an opportunity for God to usher in a brighter future? Who in your circle of influence needs the bright possibilities of God to shine on them today? Ask God to bless them with encouragement and hope today. Will God use you to extend it? Are you open to allowing God to use you?
Friday: Re-read Mark 14:35-36. This is Jesus prayer of relinquishment and surrender. John Wesley was the founder of Methodism; a phrase in his covenant prayer has him expressing to God: “I am thine, O Lord, and you are mine. Put me to what you will.” If you were relinquishing your life to God, what would you need to let go of? Are you ready to let go? Why or why not? Write a short note describing why you find it challenging to let go. Conclude by thanking God for loving you right where you are. Thank God also for helping you to get where God would like for you to be.
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