The Heart of Jesus – Gospel in Life

The Heart of Jesus

Tim Keller |  February 11, 2007

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  • Atonement
  • Understanding the Gospel
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Mark 14:32-42
RS 191-17


If you read the rest of the life of Jesus, he’s totally unflappable, but in the garden of Gethsemane, as he faces his imminent death, it says he’s astonished and overcome with horror. The fact that Jesus struggles with his death is not only unique in ancient history, it’s actually almost unique in church history itself.

This passage in Mark 14 helps us 1) see that it all really happened, 2) understand we have a culture, 3) come to grips with the wrath of God, 4) discover a way to deal with trouble and suffering, and 5) get the power to use that method.

Mark 14:32–42

The story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, from Mark 14:32-42, is very relevant, even for us living in modern New York. It provides a way to understand our society, approach the concept of God’s anger, deal with tough times, and inspires us to put these lessons into action. Although life in New York can be intense, people everywhere experience similar things, showing that these teachings are relevant universally.

1. It helps us see it all really happened

The book of Mark uniquely shows Jesus as afraid and struggling before his death, different from the emotionless leaders often seen in ancient texts. This raw honesty suggests that the story is real, as early church leaders probably wouldn’t make up such a description to boost their religion. So, we’re encouraged to deal with the deep meaning of these events.

2. It helps us understand we have a culture

Some people find it hard to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, showed fear and struggle. This highlights the importance of recognizing our cultural biases and understanding that Christianity will challenge different cultural beliefs. The fact that some parts of Christianity offend or surprise us actually supports its truth, as it pushes us in unique ways.

3. It helps us come to grips with wrath of God

Jesus’ particular struggle with his coming death, unlike the peace other Christian martyrs showed, suggests he was facing more than physical pain. Maybe he was experiencing a taste of hell in Gethsemane. This is symbolized by the cup, which represents God’s anger at human wrongs and the need for divine justice. This helps us understand His love. The idea of Jesus as a substitute for humanity, bearing the punishment of sin and offering the reward of righteousness, highlights the strength of trusting in God’s plan and the real love found in a relationship with Him.



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