Honoring and remembering God, Jesus Christ, and their servant Billy Graham by preaching an adaptation of one of his powerful messages.
TEXT: Matthew 26:36-39:
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
That night in Gethsemane, Jesus prayed and agonized until drops of blood came out from His skin. That night, Jesus prayed a mysterious prayer, an unusual prayer, a strange prayer. He said, “O God, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” What did He mean by, “Let this cup pass from me”? Imagine a child being given a cup of medicine; he immediately shrinks back. Then, at the bidding of his father, he takes it. That night, a bitter cup was offered to Jesus, and He shrank from it. Why? The cross had always been before Christ since the day of His baptism. He knew that He had to go to the cross to pay for our sins if we were to be saved. But here, in this dark hour, He found the cup bitter. In order for us to understand the chemical formula of the elixir in the cup that night, I want us to look into it deeply for a moment. I want us to see how much Christ endured that we might be forgiven of sin, that we might go to heaven, that we might have some hope of the solution for our problems.
The first element in that cup was physical pain. Men had died horrible deaths before but the death of the cross was something worse than any man knew. The death of the cross was said to be the worst possible torture that a man could endure. First, they would strip a man to the waist. Then they would tie his hands together, bend him over, and take long leather thongs embedded with lead or steel pellets, and beat him across the back until his back was in bloody ribbons. And many times the lash of those thongs would come around his face and take his eyes out of his sockets, even tear his teeth out. Often death followed just the scourging and flogging. But Jesus endured that kind of flogging
Then they took a crown of thorns and placed it on His brow, and His face bled as they tore His beard off. Then they spat in His face. Hatred, prejudice, intolerance, bigotry — all that the human heart could devise — was perpetrated against Christ. Yet, Christ was not killed by Rome or Israel. Christ was crucified by you and me; my sins and your sins crucified Him. We had a part in it, all mankind did. The human heart is expressed in that cross as they flogged Him, beat Him, spit on Him, and shoved a crown of thorns on His head.
Then they gave Him a heavy cross to carry. He stumbled along the road with that cross until Simon of Cyrene had to come and help Him. And I am certain Simon, today in heaven, is thrilled and proud of the fact that he helped Jesus carry the cross. Have you helped Jesus to carry the cross, or were you one of those putting nails in His hands? You say, “But, I would never put a nail in Jesus’ hands. I would never flog Him.” Wouldn’t you? You did it today! The sin that you committed today helped to crucify Christ because those people in the first century were all representative of us. We were expressing ourselves in them. You and I helped crucify Jesus.
Then they took Him to Golgotha’s mountain, and they put spikes in His hands. They tore His hands and His feet. Yet He never uttered a sound. He suffered pain and thirst. He hung hour upon hour on that terrible cross. Often, when a person was dying on a cross the ravenous birds would come with their iron-like talons and beaks and pick at him while he was still alive. That was the cross.
Now, we begin to see why the night before He died, Jesus was on His knees before God saying, “O God, if it is possible to save Billy Graham, if it is possible to save Jim Jones, if it is possible to save men and women some other way without me having to endure that pain, O God, find it.” But there was no other way to be found. Jesus had to suffer the pain that you and I would have had to suffer in order for us to be saved.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.