The Snake Enters the Garden Again

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses fifty-seven through seventy-five of the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel. “And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; but found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his pace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Matthew 26:57-68).

 

            “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou art also one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:69-75).

 

            When we come to this particular passage of Scripture we find that which the Lord Jesus had taught and spoken of unto the disciples concerning His betrayal—and not only His betrayal but His betrayal into the hands of the chief priests—having been completed. Beginning with the forty-seventh verse of this passage of Scripture we find that while the Lord Jesus spoke unto the disciples after praying three times before His Father which was in heaven there would come Judas one of the twelve accompanied by a great multitude with swords and staves. It’s important to note that those whom Judas brought with him into the garden were those who were sent by the chief priests and the elders of the people as those who would lay hands upon the Lord Jesus and take Him by force. Judas would not only covenant with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver, and he would not only seek an opportunity to betray the Lord Jesus into the hands of the religious elite of that day but he would also lead an insurgent and insurrection into the garden of Gethsemane. There in the place of prayer, there in the place of intimacy, and there in the place of communion and fellowship Judas would lead a band and insurrection of men who were armed with swords and staves unto and against the Lord Jesus.

 

            I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder why Judas chose the garden to carry out and complete his betrayal. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding Judas’ betrayal of the Lord Jesus. As we read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we are indeed brought face to face with the tremendous truth that Judas would indeed lead an insurrection and insurgent of men armed with swords and staves into the garden. Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how Judas would indeed lead a group of however many men who were armed with swords and staves as if they were ready to engage in warfare and conflict in the garden to seize and lay hold of the Lord Jesus There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder about the words which were found in this passage of Scripture and not only how he would lead an insurgent of men armed with swords and staves against the Lord Jesus but would also lead them into the garden which he would be well aware of from previous experiences together with the Lord Jesus. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His being betrayed by one of His own—and not only being betrayed by one of His own but also being betrayed in the garden in the place of intimacy and fellowship.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding this time within the garden of Gethsemane. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something to be said about Judas entering into the garden. If you turn and direct your attention to other references concerning Judas which were written and recorded by the gospel authors you will find that not only did Satan put it into the heart of Judas to betray the Lord Jesus but the apostle John would go on to declare that Satan had actually entered and filled him to carry out the betrayal of the Lord Jesus. Within the four gospel narratives we find Jesus declaring that one from among them would indeed betray Him and at the table during the Last Supper as they celebrated the Passover He would choose to reveal unto them how it would be one from among them who would betray Him. What an incredibly unique and powerful truth is found within the four gospel narratives for not only would one of Jesus’ own disciples betray Him but we also find Satan putting into the heart of Judas as well as actually entering into Judas to enable him to carry out this betrayal of the Lord Jesus. This is something we must needs understand when considering Judas’ entrance into the garden for I am absolutely convinced it is not by coincidence or accident the betrayal took place in the garden. I firmly believe the garden and this place of intimacy, fellowship and communion between Jesus and His disciples and between all of them and the Father which was in heaven was deliberately and specifically chosen.

            If there is one thing that helps me to understand that which took place on this particular night in the garden of Gethsemane it’s that which we find in the Old Testament concerning a different garden and the first “Son of God.” You will recall in the Old Testament book of Genesis how the LORD God formed man from the dust of the earth and fashioned him into a being that was yet without the breath of life. Although the LORD God had formed and fashioned man from the dust of the earth outside the garden of Eden he wouldn’t become a living soul until the breath of life was breathed into Him. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for after the LORD God had breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life thus enabling him to become a living soul He would place Him in the garden. The LORD God would indeed plant a garden in the east and would form man from the dust outside the garden before placing man who was now a living soul in the garden. It would be there in the garden of Eden the LORD God would declare unto Adam that he could freely eat of all the trees in the garden save the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam could freely eat and partake of the fruit of every tree in the garden as often as he wanted yet when it came to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he was to abstain from partaking of its fruit. What’s more is that as you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that after Adam and Eve had sinned and transgressed against the command of the LORD they would hear His voice walking in the midst of the garden during the cool of the day.

 

            I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to recognize and understand the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis for within it we find the temptation of Eve being carried out by the serpent whom Scripture reveals as being more subtil and cunning than any of the creatures the LORD God had made. It would be the serpent whom the apostle Paul would declare beguiled and deceived Eve into eating and partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It would be there in the midst of the garden the serpent who was the enemy and adversary would lead his own insurrection and insurgency against Eve through temptation. The serpent was well aware of the command of the living God and that which was spoken by Him and as a direct result of this he would target the woman—she who came after Adam and she who did not hear and receive the command directly from God but who would hear it from her husband Adam. The serpent would not target Adam directly but would choose to target Eve with his cunning craftiness and temptation. There in the midst of the garden the living God had planted in the east the serpent would enter that he might assault, attack and assail both Adam and Eve. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and understand for when you understand that which took place in this first garden you can and will understand that which would take place in the second garden and surrounding the eternal and only begotten Son of God. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the second and third chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the formation of Adam and the eventual sin and transgression of both Adam and Eve there in the midst of the garden:

 

            “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:4-7).

 

            “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it, which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:8-17).

 

            It is within these passages of Scripture we encounter the LORD God forming man from the dust of the ground outside the garden of Eden before breathing into his nostrils the breath of life thus causing him to become a living soul. After the Lord God had breathed into the nostrils of Adam and caused him to become a living soul he would place him in the midst of the garden to dress and to keep it. What’s more is that not only did the LORD God placed man in the garden of Eden with an assignment and responsibility but He would also give him a command and instruction. The LORD God placed man in the garden of Eden and would give him the freedom to eat and partake of all the fruit of every tree present within the garden, however, there was one exception found within it. Adam could freely eat of every tree of the garden and was given the freedom to partake of all that fruit yet he was also given the freedom to choose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is something we must needs understand for there were essentially two elements to the freedom which was present in the garden of Eden. There was the element of freedom given unto Adam to partake of any of the fruit of any of the trees of the garden of Eden save the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and yet there was also the freedom to choose to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the overwhelming amount of freedom that would indeed be present in the garden—both the freedom to eat as well as the freedom to choose. Oh that we would recognize and understand this for just as Adam was given the freedom to eat as well as the freedom to choose so also have we been given the freedom to eat and the freedom to choose.

 

            Having said all of this I now invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following words which are found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. There is a great need for us to pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially concerning the presence of the serpent in the garden—for it helps shine a tremendous amount of light on to that which we find in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. What’s more is I am convinced that it not only helps us understand that which is found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew but also that which was written by the other New Testament gospel authors. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning to read with and from the first verse of the chapter:

 

            “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth. Know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multip0ly thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: curse is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now,  lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:1-24).

 

            Oh there is something we must needs recognize when considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the LORD God had formed man from the dust of the ground outside of the garden before breathing into his nostrils causing him to become a living soul. Once man had become a living soul the LORD God would take man and place him in the midst of the garden to dress and to keep it. There in the garden, however, the LORD God would give him a command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was given the freedom to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden as often as he wanted and yet with that freedom to eat came the freedom to choose to make a different decision. It was indeed true Adam was given the ability to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden of Eden, however, he was also given the freedom to choose to partake of the fruit of the only tree in the garden Adam was commanded not to eat. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and understand for while the LORD God formed man from the dust outside the garden and placed him in the garden and while it was true that there in the midst of the garden the LORD God would form and create woman from Adam’s own flesh there was also a serpent in the garden as well. This presence of the serpent is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for there was more than simply Adam and Eve in the garden for there was also the serpent in the garden together with them. Scripture is unclear whether or not the serpent was in the garden from the time the LORD God created it or whether or not he entered into the garden after the LORD God placed Adam in the midst of it and then formed Eve. What we must needs recognize and understand is that regardless of how and even when the serpent entered into the garden he had entered into the midst of it and would prompt an insurrection against that which the LORD God had formed and created in His own image and after His own likeness.

 

            THERE CAME A SECOND GARDEN! THE SERPENT ENTERS THE GARDEN AGAIN! THE SERPENT RETURNS TO THE GARDEN! THE RETURN OF THE SERPENT! THE INSURRECTION AGAINST THE FIRST SON OF GOD! THE INSURRECTION AGAINST THE ETERNAL AND ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD! I am absolutely convinced there is something truly astonishing and unique about the narrative of the garden of Eden and how it was there in the garden where the first man and first woman were placed that helps us understand that which we read in the twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It would be in the garden of Eden where we encounter and come face to face with the incredible narrative of the serpent who was not only present within the garden but who also would beguile Eve. It would be the apostle Paul who spoke of the serpent actually beguiling Eve in the garden and it would be the apostle John who would write concerning the great red dragon which appeared in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus as being the ancient serpent of old. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the snake in the garden and how the snake assaulted and assailed Eve. There must be absolutely no doubt and no mistake about the words and language found in this passage of Scripture and how the serpent was present in the garden and sought to beguile, assault, assail and attack the first man and woman. What’s more is the serpent wouldn’t directly target the man in the garden but instead went through the woman who was created and formed from the man.

 

            If you take the time to consider the words and language found in the New Testament gospel narratives you will find the serpent did not directly target the Lord Jesus but went through one of His disciples. It is indeed true that in the wilderness we find the serpent present with Jesus there in the midst of the desert and seeking to tempt Him. It would be there in the wilderness where it was simply Jesus the Son of the living God and the ancient serpent which was present in the garden. What makes all of this truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that although the religious leaders continually sought to put to death and destroy the Lord Jesus it would be the serpent who would target and go through one of His disciples who would actually conspire together with religion. Pause for a moment and consider how relationship conspired together with religion to betray Jesus into their hands. What’s more is that not only would relationship conspire together with religion but it would do so based on the infiltration of Jesus’ own disciples. It is quite astonishing and unique to think about and consider the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and how the serpent would be able to infiltrate one of His own disciples. We know from the gospel narrative written by Luke that Satan desired to have Simon called Peter that he might sift him as wheat. With this being said, however, the Lord Jesus would pray for him that his faith would not fail—and not only that his faith would not fail but when he was converted he would strengthen his brethren.

 

            We must make absolutely no mistake about the words and language found within the New Testament gospel narratives for within them we find the serpent assaulting and assailing at least two of the disciples of the Lord Jesus. There is within the four gospel ample evidence that proves and demonstrates the tactic and strategy of the enemy and adversary and how the enemy would and could go after Jesus’ own disciples whom He had chosen after praying before and unto the Father through the night. I find it incredibly interesting to read how the serpent did not seek to go after the man within the garden but instead chose to target and go after the woman instead. Have you ever stopped to think about this and ask yourself why the serpent would have gone after the woman instead of the men? I have to admit that in all the years I have read and studied the scripture I have never even thought about this—much less asked myself why this would be the case. The serpent would be present in the midst of the garden of Eden and would deliberately and intentionally chose to target the woman rather than the man—this despite the fact that his ultimate target was undoubtedly the man who was created and formed in the image and after the likeness of the living God. I would dare say the serpent intentionally targeted the woman in the garden because he knew that the woman was the key to get to the man. I do not believe the woman was the serpent’s ultimate and main target but rather that the man was the ultimate target and prize of the serpent. I would imagine it brought the serpent great delight and pleasure when the man was not only cut off from the tree of life but also banished and removed from the garden of Eden. Imagine what it was like for the serpent to see the man kicked out of and removed from the garden because of his own iniquity and transgression against the commandment of the living God.

 

            If there is one thing I can’t help but find absolutely incredible about the narrative of the garden of Eden and that of the garden of Gethsemane is that in both we see a powerful image of the son of God being removed from the garden. In the case of the garden of Eden we find the son of God being removed from and driven out of the garden by the living God that he might not stretch forth his hand and lay hold of the tree of life and live forever in his fallen state. In the case of the garden of Gethsemane we find the Lord Jesus being bound and perhaps even dragged from the garden by those who had entered into the garden. Oh there is a vast difference between the two gardens despite the fact that the serpent undoubtedly desired both of these sons of God being removed from the garden.  The first son of God which was created in the image and after the likeness of the living God would be removed from the garden by the living God Himself, however the second Son of God which was uncreated and was the only begotten of the Father would not be driven out by the Father but would be removed by man. With this being said, however, we must recognize and realize that nothing happened to the Son of God that He did not willingly and intentionally accept and choose to walk through. What’s more is that there was absolutely nothing that happened to the Son of God that was not ordained by the living and eternal God. With this being said is that while the living God drove out the first man from the garden of Eden He would permit the eternal and only begotten Son of God to be removed from that garden. The eternal and living God would allow the eternal and only begotten Son of God to be removed from the second garden that fellowship might be restored.

 

            I am sitting here right now thinking about the contrast between these two gardens and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the garden of Eden and the garden of Gethsemane. It would be in the garden of Eden the LORD God would walk in the midst of it during the cool of day that He might have fellowship together with the man. There in the garden of Eden the man which was formed from the dust of the earth and would become a living soul after the LORD breathed into his nostrils the breath of life would experience unbroken and unhindered access and fellowship with the Father which was in heaven. When the man allowed sin, iniquity and transgression to creep into his heart and he sinned against the living God that fellowship and access would indeed be broken. When man would and could once enjoy unbroken fellowship together with the Father in the garden of Eden he would now be driven from the midst of the garden. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for the first man was driven from the garden having compromised fellowship, communion and relationship with the eternal and living God. With this being said when we speak about the second Adam who was deliberately and intentionally permitted to be removed from the garden of Gethsemane He was removed for the sake of fellowship and intimacy. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the eternal Father allowed His Son to be forcibly removed from the garden of Gethsemane that through His suffering and death fellowship might be restored together with Him. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fifty-third chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah beginning to read with and from the first verse:

 

           

Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

 

            Please don’t miss the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the prophet Isaiah speaking of the Lord Jesus as being a lamb which was led to the slaughter. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the Lord Jesus being led from the garden of Gethsemane and being led forth out of the garden of Gethsemane. The Lord Jesus was led forth out of the garden of Gethsemane—of course we know because of the divine will of the eternal and living God, however we must also understand the second Adam was led out of the garden of Gethsemane because of the serpent who entered into that garden. Of course we know and understand that the serpent wouldn’t beguile anyone in the second garden to bring about the removal of the second Adam, however, we can indeed be convinced that the second Adam would be removed from the garden of Eden because of the serpent who entered into the garden via and through one of His own disciples. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when we consider the words presented in the twenty-sixth chapter of this gospel for Judas would not only enter into the garden which was a place of intimacy and fellowship but he would also lead an insurrection and insurgent in the midst of the garden. Oh it is with this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. Stop and consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle unto these dear saints concerning the first and second Adam:

 

           

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of m any offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

 

            We can clear see within this passage of Scripture an incredible link and connection between the first Adam which was present in the garden of Eden and the second Adam which we see in the garden of Gethsemane. It would be through the first Adam sin, iniquity, transgression and death would enter and would abound until the time of the second Adam and it would be through the second Adam where righteousness, life, holiness, purity and obedience would abound and be offered unto those who believe upon His name. With this being said, however, we must needs understand that just as it was the serpent’s ultimate objective to have the first Adam removed from the garden of Eden so also it was the serpent’s objective to have the second Adam forcibly removed and taken from the garden of Gethsemane. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the contrast between these two gardens. It is absolutely unmistakable when reading the words found in the twenty-sixth chapter that the serpent would indeed enter into the garden of Gethsemane—and not only enter into the garden but enter in with an insurgent of those who were armed with swords and staves. In the first garden it was just the serpent himself who deceived and beguiled the woman while in the second garden it was the serpent working through Judas Iscariot who would be accompanied by men armed with swords and staves. What a truly astonishing reality this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth of the serpent entering into this second garden accompanied by those who would be armed with weapons. When it came to the second Adam which was the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God the serpent would need so much more to have Him forcibly removed.

 

            As you read the words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find that Jesus not only foretold and spoke of the betrayal of one of them but He also revealed who among them would actually be the one who would betray Him. With this being said it must be understood when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that this betrayal would be recounted and presented by the apostle Matthew. Beginning with the forty-seventh verse of this chapter we find that while Jesus was speaking unto His disciples Judas who was one of the twelve came accompanied by a great multitude with swords and staves. Pause for a moment and imagine what that scene would and could have looked like as Judas would not only enter into the garden himself but would enter into the garden accompanied by men with weapons in their hands and/or at their sides. The apostle Matthew writes and records how Judas would enter into the garden of Gethsemane accompanied by a great multitude who were armed with swords and staves for the purpose of engaging in conflict and battle should it actually come to that. Undoubtedly Judas sought to lead them unto Jesus and serve Him up to them, but it is quite clear that their being armed with swords and staves suggested that force would be used if necessary. Oh Judas would enter into the garden of Gethsemane, however, before he would do so he would give them a sign that whosoever he would kiss that was he who was the Messiah and He whom they were to hold fast.

 

            Upon continuing reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find Judas entering into the garden and coming unto Judas and greeting him by calling him Master. Not only would Judas enter into the garden of Gethsemane and greet the Lord Jesus as Master but he would also kiss him. Stop and consider how the betrayal of Judas was not only to lead an insurgent of men armed with swords and staves into the garden but also to betray the Lord Jesus with a kiss. Judas would enter into the garden of Gethsemane—would enter into that place of intimacy, fellowship and relationship between Jesus and the Father and between Jesus and the disciples—and would betray Him with a false sense of intimacy and fellowship. Judas would betray Jesus with a kiss and those who were with him would lay their hands on Jesus and took Him—an act that would ignite the anger within the heart of the apostle Peter. The apostle Matthew writes of one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. It would be in response to this the Lord Jesus would instruct Peter to put up again his sword into its place for all they who take the sword would perish with the sword. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would go on to declare unto them that if He wanted to He could pray to the Father which was in heaven and He would presently give Him twelve legions of angels. The Lord Jesus could have called upon His Father which was in heaven to send Him thousands of angels to deliver Him out of the hands of those who were present in the garden and yet He would hold the angels back that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would speak unto the multitudes which came unto Him and ask them if they came out against Him as a thief with swords and with staves for to take Him since He sat daily with them teaching in the temple, and they laid no hold on Him.

 

            I am absolutely astonished with the truth that is found within this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to that which took place there in the garden. It would be in the garden where the serpent would once more infiltrate that he might carry out his sinister agenda against the Son of God. The serpent infiltrated the first garden and targeted Eve rather than the woman and the serpent infiltrated the second garden and targeted Judas that he might get to the Son of God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that the serpent was always looking for an opportune time to destroy and put Jesus to death. Scripture makes it very clear that when the devil left the Lord Jesus in the wilderness he did so for a season but that he sought for a more opportune time. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the serpent and his seeking the perfect opportunity to destroy the Lord Jesus. We must recognize and pay close attention to this for it brings us face to face with the same mindset and heart that was in Judas.

 

            If you turn and direct your attention to an earlier passage found within the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament book you will find that after Judas covenanted with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver he sought for an opportune and occasion to betray the Lord Jesus. This is something we must needs understand for this is the same mindset and the same agenda the devil had when he departed from the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truth for just as the serpent sought for an opportunity to destroy the Lord Jesus so also would the disciple seek for an opportunity to betray the Lord Jesus. There is something truly captivating about Judas and that which took place after he had covenanted with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver. It would be immediately after the serpent covenanted together with the chief priests for those thirty pieces of silver that he would from that moment seek an opportune time to betray Jesus. Pause for a moment and think about this perfect storm that would take place as the agenda of the serpent would be in alignment with the agenda of the disciple. Perhaps the better way of putting this is that the agenda of the disciple lined up with the agenda of the serpent. This is something we have a great need of recognizing and paying close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the agenda of the serpent and the agenda of the disciple and how the coalesced into a powerful unity of desire to bring about the destruction of the Lord Jesus. Just as the serpent sought for an opportunity and opportune time to destroy the Lord Jesus after he departed from Him in the wilderness so also would Judas seek for an opportunity and opportune time to betray the Lord Jesus after covenanting with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver.

 

            The more I sit here and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with Jesus’ words unto His disciples—and not only Jesus’ words unto His disciples but also that which He spoke and revealed the condition of their hearts and souls. Jesus’ words concerning one from among them who would betray Him would expose and reveal the condition of the heart and soul of Judas which would ultimately trigger all the disciples as they would each ask Him whether or not it was they who would betray Him. Jesus’ words concerning one from among them who would betray Him would indeed cause each of them to become sorrowful and proceed to ask whether or not it was they who would betray Him. What’s more is that within the same chapter and on the same night that which the Lord Jesus had spoken concerning betrayal would come to pass. This betrayal would indeed be carried out by Judas who was numbered among the twelve and would indeed betray Him with a kiss and would lead an insurgent of men armed with swords and staves against Him. With this being said we must also recognize that the Lord Jesus didn’t merely declare that one from among them would betray Him but He would also declare that all would be offended because of Him. These words would be spoken by the Lord Jesus to demonstrate and reveal that what the prophet spoke concerning the shepherd being smitten and the sheep being scattered would be fulfilled. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the same night in which Jesus would be betrayed for after those whom Judas led into the garden would seize and lay hold of Him all the disciples would forsake the Lord and flee their separate ways.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding additional words which the Lord Jesus would speak—words which would describe and detail another one of His disciples. The more you read the words contained in this chapter and the further you delve into the more you will find that after Jesus declared unto His disciples that all would be offended because of Him Simon called Peter would speak up and declare that even if all would be offended yet would He not be offended. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for Jesus would lovingly and compassionately speak unto Simon called Peter and declare that that before the cock would crow that night he would deny Him three times. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth that while Judas would betray the Lord, while all would be offended because of the Lord, Simon called Peter would deny the Lord. Not only would Simon deny the Lord but Simon would deny the Lord according to the word which the Lord Himself had spoken unto and concerning Him. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly captivating about the words found in this passage and how Jesus would see how Simon’s misplaced trust and confidence in his flesh would indeed make him vulnerable and susceptible to the temptation the devil would hurl at him. It would be the Lord Jesus who would declare unto Simon called Peter how Satan had asked to have him that he might sift him as wheat but how the Lord had prayed for him that his faith might not fail.

 

            What is incredibly interesting about the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto Simon called Peter is that not only did He declare that Satan had desired to have him as wheat that he might sift him as wheat but Jesus’ words seem to suggest that He had granted Satan’s request. That which makes this all the more intriguing is when you consider how Satan came and appeared before the throne of the living God among the sons of God—not once but twice. It would be there before the throne of God Satan would accuse Job before the living God. Moreover Satan would not only accuse Job before the throne of God but would also incite the LORD God against Job that he might destroy without cause and without purpose. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the narrative of Simon called Peter and how the Lord Jesus would not only declare unto Simon that Satan desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat but Jesus’ words also seemed to indicate unto Simon that He had granted the request of Satan. Jesus could have declared unto Simon that He told Satan “No” and that he couldn’t have Simon and “No” that he couldn’t sift him as wheat. What Jesus’ words seem to indicate instead is that He was willing to grant the request of Satan in having Simon that He might sift him as wheat. Jesus’ words declared unto Simon that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail thus indicating unto Simon that although He might have granted the request of Satan to have him and sift him as wheat He would pray for him and for his faith in the midst of that trial of his faith. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the words the Lord Jesus would speak unto Simon and how he ought not place any trust nor confidence in his own flesh.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are presented in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the powerful reality of Jesus emphatically declared unto Simon called Peter that before the cock would crow that night he would betray him three times. This Jesus would say not necessarily to prove that he knew the future and that which Simon called Peter would do but to demonstrate and reveal the nature and condition of the heart and soul of His disciple. The Lord Jesus would indeed declare unto Simon called Peter that he would deny him—this despite the trust and confidence he placed in his flesh. Not only this but Jesus would declare unto Simon that he would deny Him three times—this despite the words he would speak in the hearing of the other disciples. How absolutely incredible this truly is when you think about and consider it for it brings us face to face with the reality of the nature and condition of our own hearts and souls. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality and how it strikes at the very heart and soul of our own lives and of our own selves. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to Jesus’ words—and not only Jesus’ words but also the actual fulfillment of those words as they would come to pass on this very night. On this night after the Lord Jesus was seized and led away captive by the insurgent brought into the garden by Judas Simon called Peter would follow afar off. This after he had already taken the sword and struck off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest whose named was Malchus. The Lord would respond unto Simon upon carrying out this action that those who live by the sword would indeed die by the sword.

 

            We must needs understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding this night and how not only would the upper room expose and reveal the hearts and souls of the disciples but the garden of Gethsemane as well as the place where the chief priests, the elders of the people and the religious elite were assembled would be the stage upon which that which the Lord had spoken concerning His disciples would take place and be fulfilled. It would be in the garden of Gethsemane where Judas would lead an insurgent of men armed with swords and staves that he might betray the Lord with a kiss. It would also be in the garden where all the disciples would indeed be offended because of the Lord Jesus and would forsake and abandon him. We know the apostle Peter would indeed follow the Lord Jesus from afar that he might see the end and it was that decision to follow the Lord Jesus to see what the end would be that would position him in the place where he would deny the Lord three times. I can’t help but wonder if Simon called Peter fully knew and realized what was happening as it was happening. Did Simon called Peter realize while he was betraying the Lord Jesus that he was actually doing it? There seems to be every indication when reading the words presented in this passage of Scripture that Simon didn’t realize what had truly happened until after he had denied the Lord Jesus. It wouldn’t be until after he had denied the Lord—and not only denied the Lord but also after the cock crowed—that he would remember the words of the Lord and would weep bitterly. Oh we must needs understand and acknowledge this particular truth for it draws and calls our attention to the powerful truth concerning this fateful night and that which would take place among the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be on this particular night the Lord Jesus would speak unto the disciples and reveal the condition and nature of their hearts and where the words He spoke would indeed be fulfilled.

 

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to just how impactful and insightful the language contained within it truly is. We cannot and must not read this chapter and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples and how the Lord would reveal unto them how one from among them would betray Him, how all would be offended because of Him and how Simon would deny Him three times. The words and language we find in this passage of Scripture calls and draws our attention to the significance and weight of the words the Lord Jesus spoke and how His words would not only reveal the nature and condition of the hearts of the disciples but would also be fulfilled on that very night before the night would let out. Perhaps the single greatest truth we must needs recognize as we read the words found within this passage of Scripture is whether or not we are aware of those temptations which we as the disciples of the Lord Jesus face. What’s more is that we must not only be aware of those temptations which we as the disciples of the Lord Jesus face but we must also be aware of any trust and confidence we might place in the flesh. There is a great need for us as the people of God to recognize the weaknesses which are present within us—and not only the weaknesses which are present within us but also those temptations which seek to assault land assail us. There is a great neeed for us to know and understand the condition and nature of our hearts and how they are indeed revealed through those temptations, those trials and those troubles we face. Oh that we would be men and women who although we might fail, and falter and fall down our faith does not and will not fail in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus.

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