The Book of Mark
James J. Barker

Lesson 51

Text: MARK 14:27-42; HEBREWS 5:7


1.     We left off last time in the upper room, where our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper (14:22-25).

2.     After singing a hymn, our Lord and the disciples “went out into the mount of Olives” (14:26).

3.     Quoting Zechariah 13:7, our Lord told His disciples they all would be offended because of their association with Him (14:27).

4.     Furthermore, by saying “this night” our Lord was declaring that it was now time for Him to be crucified (cf. 10:32-34, 45; 12:6-8; 14:8).

5.     Zechariah 13:7 teaches that our Lord was slain according to God’s plan – “for it is written, I will smite the shepherd” (Mark 14:27).

6.     Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”    

7.     Isaiah 53:6 says, “The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

8.     Isaiah 53:10 says, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him.”

9.     Acts 2:23 says Christ was “delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”

10. By quoting the prophet Zechariah, our Lord was predicting that He (“the shepherd”) would be slain, and the sheep would be scattered.

11. However, He added words of encouragement – “But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee” (Mark 14:28; cf. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34).

12. Here we see a great contrast – the darkness of the crucifixion and the light of the resurrection.

13. Our Lord had already revealed this to His disciples, but apparently they did not understand it (cf. Luke 24:1-17).

14. Peter, impulsive, self-sufficient, and over-confident, boldly declared, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I” (14:29).

15. With this boast, Peter was arrogantly placing himself above the other apostles.  Our Lord promptly straightened him out (14:30).

16. Next, Peter had the audacity to contradict our Lord Himself (14:31).

17. The other apostles agreed – “Likewise also said they all” (14:31b).

18. And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane…” (Mark 14:32).  The word Gethsemane is Aramaic for “oil press.”

19. The garden of Gethsemane was an olive orchard at the foot of the Mount of Olives. It was a place our Lord frequently visited (cf. Luke 22:39; John 18:1, 2).

20. The Bible does not say what time they arrived at the garden of Gethsemane, but it was late at night, perhaps close to midnight.

21. This is a difficult passage to fathom. The depths of the meaning of our Lord’s agony we are not able to comprehend. William MacDonald wrote: “No one can approach this account of the Garden of Gethsemane without realizing that he is walking on holy ground.  Anyone who attempts to comment on it feels a tremendous sense of awe and reticence.  As Guy King wrote, ‘The supernal character of the event causes one to fear lest one should in any way spoil it by touching it.’”

22. Spurgeon said: “No man can rightly expound such a passage as this; it is a subject for prayerful, heartbroken meditation, more than for human language.”

23. Nevertheless, Spurgeon did preach several sermons on this passage.  And I will attempt to expound it tonight, trusting the Holy Spirit will help us.

24. W Graham Scroggie divided his exposition into five parts:

I.      CHRIST’S SORROW (14:34).



IV.            CHRIST’S DISAPPOINTMENT (14:37-41).



I. CHRIST’S SORROW (14:33, 34).

1.     Mark 14:33 and 34 say our Lord was “very heavy” and “exceeding sorrowful unto death.”

2.     Isaiah 53:3 says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”

3.     PP Bliss wrote that beautiful song:

“Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!”

4.     We must not think it was the fear of death that made our Lord agonize in the Garden.  He did not fear death, but faced it willingly and with courage.

5.     Our Lord said in John 10:17 and 18, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

6.     Then what did our Lord mean when He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death”?

7.     Our Lord knew His soul would be made an offering for sin (cf. Isaiah 53:10).

8.     Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.”

9.     God made the sinless Saviour sin for us.  There is no scripture more profound in the whole Bible. God the Father made His sinless, innocent incarnate Son the object of His fierce wrath and judgment, for our sakes.

10. Why?  “...That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21b).

11. Some have tried to diminish the force of this Scripture by changing it to, “For He hath made Him to be a sin-offering for us,” but this is not what the Bible says. 

12. The same Greek word for sin is used twice in II Corinthians 5:21, and it must mean the same thing on both occasions.

13. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

14. Our Lord was going through a very difficult time (“exceeding sorrowful unto death” – 14:34) in the Garden of Gethsemane, and so He asked these three disciples to watch and pray (Mark 14:34).



1.     Our Lord is getting very close to the hour (14:35) of His crucifixion.  He is no longer surrounded by the multitudes. 

2.     He has had His last passover meal with the disciples.  Then He left eight of them at the entrance to the Garden.  Then He left the remaining three and retired to pray.

3.     Our Lord is all alone now in the Garden of Gethsemane because He is now ready for the loneliness of the cross (cf. 14:36).

4.     Our Lord felt the awful burden of sin, and His sinless, holy soul was repelled by it, and horrified by it, and disgusted by it, and yet, all      the while He knew that in a very short time all the wicked sins of the world would be placed on Him. 

5.     First Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” This is even more horrible – “in his own body.”

6.     All the terrible sins of the world were in that “cup” (Mark 14:36).

7.     Words cannot adequately describe our Lord’s agony in the Garden (cf. Luke 22:43, 44). 

8.     J Vernon McGee said, “Many people glibly sing, ‘I’ll go with Him through the garden.’  I cannot go with Him through the garden.  The Lord Jesus left His disciples outside the garden.  I will stay outside with them and peer over the wall into the darkness and listen to the travail of His soul.”

9.     We cannot fathom our Lord’s loneliness in the Garden of Gethsemane.  



1.     “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee” (14:36).  Only Mark records that our Lord said these precious words in the Garden of Gethsemane – “all things are possible unto thee” (cf. Mark 9:23; 10:27).

2.     The mystery of the two natures of Christ (“the mystery of godliness” – I Tim. 3:16) – Christ is both very God and very man – is seen here in the Garden of Gethsemane.

3.     As a man, our Lord dreaded going to the cross.  But as God He never wavered in doing the Father’s will.

4.     The “cup” (14:36) represents our Lord’s death as our Substitute. His soul shrank from the awfulness of being made sin for us.  This aspect of the cross is often overlooked, and the emphasis is put on the physical pain.

5.     Jesus was not wrestling with God’s will, but submitting to God’s will (14:36). 

6.     As an obedient Son, He wanted to do the will of God (14:36).

7.     Are you yielded to the will of God? 

8.     Psalm 40:8 says, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”



1.     Our Lord asked Peter, “Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?”  (Mark 14:37).

2.     They were all sleeping, but it was Peter that our Lord addressed.

3.     This was the same boastful Peter, who had insisted that he would be faithful unto death, who could not even stay awake for one hour (14:37; cf. 14:39-41).

4.     This is a sad illustration of the weakness of the flesh (cf. 14:38).



1.     D. Edmond Hiebert said our Lord gave a “gracious apology for their failure” (The Gospel of Mark).

2.     Psalm 103:14 says, “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

3.     The Lord took into consideration that the apostles were weak, and we must do the same.  We are often disappointed when others let us down, but no one was ever let down like our Lord was let down. 



1.     In my introductory remarks, I mentioned that Spurgeon preached and wrote some interesting things about the Garden of Gethsemane. 

2.     In one of his sermons on this subject, Spurgeon said:

“We have thus come to the gate of the garden of Gethsemane, let us now enter; but first let us put off our shoes from our foot, as Moses did, when he also saw the bush which burned with fire, and was not consumed. Surely we may say with Jacob, ‘How dreadful is this place!’ I tremble at the task which lies before me, for how shall my feeble speech describe those agonies, for which strong crying and tears were scarcely an adequate expression? I desire with you to survey the sufferings of our Redeemer, but oh, may the Spirit of God prevent our mind from thinking aught amiss, or our tongue from speaking even one word which would be derogatory to Him either in His immaculate manhood or his glorious Godhead. It is not easy when you are speaking of one who is both God and man to observe the exact line of correct speech; it is so easy to describe the divine side in such a manner as to trench upon the human, or to depict the human at the cost of the divine. Make me not an offender for a word if I should err. A man had need himself to be inspired, or to confine himself to the very words of inspiration, fitly to speak at all times upon the great ‘mystery of godliness,’ God manifest in the flesh, and especially when he has to dwell most upon God so manifest in suffering flesh that the weakest traits in manhood become the most conspicuous. O Lord, open Thou my lips that my tongue may utter right words” (“The Agony in Gethsemane”).

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