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       Sermons | Passionate worship

      This sermon was preached by Pastor Keith Cardwell at Swift Presbyterian Church.

      June 20, 2021 | Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

      Garden of Gethsemane
      (Second in a three-part series on biblical gardens)

      Matthew 26:36–45; Romans 5:12–19

       A DAM WAS THE LEADER of the human family. His sins affected all others. We’re looking at three biblical gardens. Last week was the Garden of Eden. We’re moving from Paradise lost. To paradise found.

      To get there, we go through the garden of Gethsemane.

      † † †

      THE HUMAN FAMILY has its roots in Adam and Eve. Although they fell short, God still came back to them. God had a plan for the human family. A plan of reconciling the world.

      That plan was revealed in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      Life was distorted in what Adam and Eve did, but Jesus Christ reversed our sin by giving us new life through resurrection.

      † † †

      PAUL MAINTAINS that we can’t escape sin since we are connected to Adam (“sin came into the world through one man”).

      We are also each our own Adam or Eve, very willingly turning away from God (“because all have sinned”).

      Thus, we are responsible for our sinning, even if we are not able to stop it.

      † † †

      WE MUST BE WILLING to admit that we have sinned and fallen short of being the person God would have us be. As Paul confesses openly:

      “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

      (Romans 7:15).

      Sin — doing those things we hate — is part of who we are. It is not that some people sin while others do not. All our lives are marked by sin. There is no vaccination. We cannot work hard to avoid sinning.

      We do sin. We will sin. It’s just a matter of how and when. Because we’re the descendants of Eve and Adam, we stand before our God, our creator, judged guilty and condemned.

      † † †

      THE SOURCE OF SIN and death traces back to the very first person. Sin entered through one man — Adam.

      The result of sin entering the world through Adam is death. No one, by force of will, or exercise, or healthy eating is able to stave off the death that holds dominion over us.

      The death and resurrection of Christ is needed to fix death.

      † † †

      THANKS BE TO GOD our lives are not hopeless.

      Sin and death came into the world through the trespass of one man, but it was through the grace of one man that we have been given the gift of new life.

      Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have been pardoned, our sins have been forgiven, and we have been made righteous as we stand before God.

      † † †

      IN EDEN, GOD CREATES the first human being, who then serves as the representative for all humanity. Then when Jesus comes, he is the representative human being, a sort of second Adam.

      It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that the battle between God and sin/death is won. Some folks have compared Adam and Christ — offered contrasts between Eden and Gethsemane.

      God reverses things or flips things; how Jesus redeems the past.

      Whereas Adam faced temptation and chose disbelief and disobedience, Jesus, the second Adam, faced an even greater temptation and chose trust and obedience.

      † † †

      THE RESULTS OF THE ACTS in the first garden brought shame, death, and alienation.

      In the second garden, the Son of Man embraced the shame of the cross and tasted death in order to reconcile God and Man.

      Those given life in Eden selfishly threw it away while the One who is life willingly laid his life down into order to give it back.

      — Keith Cardwell   

      «In the second garden, the Son of Man embraced the shame of the cross and tasted death in order to reconcile God and Man.»


      This is the Word of God for the people of God:

      Matthew 26:36–45
      Holy Bible, New International Version

      36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

      39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

      40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

      42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

      43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

      45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.

      — This is the Word of the Lord.
      — Thanks be to God.

      This is the Word of God for the people of God:

      Romans 5:12–19
      Holy Bible, New International Version

      Death through Adam, life through Christ
      12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

      13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

      15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

      18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

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