Jesus is the Lord God Almighty, the great I Am. His very name and word can bring men and angels to their knees. He is a Savior for the lost, a Redeemer for the guilty, a Physician for the sick, a Friend for the needy, an Intercessor for the sin-accused, an Advocate for the law-condemned, a Surety for the debt-plagued, a Healer for the broken- hearted, a Helper for the self-ruined, and an altogether lovely Bridegroom for an unfaithful bride. He is everything we need.
We cannot imagine a fuller redemption or a deeper love than what is provided by Gethsemane’s Lamb. He who is taken and arrested also takes and arrests sinners, causing them to cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” He who is bound binds His people so that they declare death on their self-righteousness and flee to Christ alone. He who is led away leads sinners to see that salvation is exclusively in Him and applies it to them so that they glorify Him for His full and free salvation.
Apart from His great love for us, nothing explains our Lord’s willingness to be arrested, bound, and led away; but in so doing He shows Himself to be the perfect Christ for His own. He is arrested so that He can arrest us as our Prophet and bring us from darkness into His marvelous light. He is bound so that we can be freed from the burden of sin and guilt that threatens to destroy us, when as both Priest and victim He offers an acceptable sacrifice to God on our behalf. He is led away so He can govern us as our King by His Word and Spirit, leading us back to God, and preserving, guiding, and defending us in the salvation He has purchased for us.
How unspeakably beautiful is our Lord Jesus Christ! Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) said, “In the person of Christ do meet together infinite majesty, and transcendent meekness.”1 The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 19, Sermons and Discourses, 1734–1738, ed. M. X. Lesser (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 568. This, Edwards said, is what makes Christ so very excellent. He is the mighty and terrifying King, at whose presence the earth quakes. Yet He exhibits the greatest humility, even under the bitter attacks and injuries of His enemies. May Christ’s unique combination of majesty and meekness win your heart to forever adore Him.
What a wonder it is that the great Deliverer delivers Himself up; the divinely appointed Judge is arrested as a common criminal; the great Liberator is bound; the great Leader is led away. Let us praise Gethsemane’s Christ, the King of kings and the Lamb of God, and resolve to trust Him more fully, follow Him more obediently, and look the more expectantly for His return to take us to Himself. Let us take with us five practical ways in which Christ as Gethsemane’s King and Lamb should impact our faith and life.
- Let us honor His authority as King with greater fear and reverence.
- Let us submit to the trials He imposes on us without complaint— indeed, with cheerfulness and thanksgiving—so that we may drink the cup He places in our hands rather than to plead for another.
- Let us learn to know when silence is a more powerful testimony in the presence of evil and unbelief than any words we might say.
- Like Paul, let us cherish the privilege of being admitted to the fellowship of His sufferings.
- Let us honor His giving up of Himself for us with more complete surrender of ourselves to Him, so that we would request to be His willing servant, now and forever.
Puritan Reformed Journal – January 2012
Volume 4 • Number
Excerpt from Gethsemane’s King-Lamb: A Sermon on John 18:7–8, 12–13a
By Joel Beeke