A Saviour who sympathises - Matthew 26:36-46

This is a sermon by Peter Birnie from 21st March 2021.

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Passion 3 Matthew 26v36-46 “A Saviour who Sympathises”


Intro: The heartfelt question “Does God not care about me?”


          1) We must see that the saviour suffered (v36-38)


Jesus’ suffering has already begun;


v37+38 “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.’”



  • Bad enough; is the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical torture to come.



  • Even worse; the parade through the streets, the agony of the nails, the slow crushing asphyxiation.  



  • Worse still; the bitter taste of sin.  The weight of all sin ever.



  • Worst of all; the separation from His Father.




“Does God not care about me in my suffering?”

Oh how he cares; God himself remembers suffering.


          2) We must see that he suffered to deal with our weakness (v39-44)

Motivation and Necessity of Jesus’ suffering;


  • The Motivation: Obedience to his Father.  

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.’”


Jesus was going to drink the whole cup full of suffering because that was what His Father commanded.


  • The Necessity: Our weakness and sin

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”


The best of people are weak and captive to sin.




          Conclusion: His suffering is THE answer to ALL questions (v45&46)

The Cross is God’s full and final answer.


  • Does he love me? YES
  • Is he strong enough to do anything about my suffering? YES
  • Why won’t he do anything about my suffering? HE HAS.


Wait patiently and humbly in faith at the cross of Jesus Christ.



Passion 3 Matthew 26v36-46 “A Saviour who Sympathises”

Home Group Questions


1) When is the question of suffering and God a pointless question to answer? Why is “Does God not care about me?” often a fruitful question to answer?


2) Read verses 36-38. Why would Jesus’ admission of his sorrow and mental anguish be so shocking to the disciples? How would they have liked to respond?


3) In what specific ways do you think Jesus was suffering in Gethsemane? How does this qualify him to sympathise with our specific trials and sorrows?


4) Read verses 39-46. What motivates Jesus to say yes to the cross? Why was this a necessity? What does this reveal about God’s love for you?


5) Read this quote; “If ever God’s people here in England had cause to be afflicted, troubled, and humbled under the hand of the Lord, and to run together in prayer, surely they have reason now.”

What part should the cross of Jesus Christ play when we have questions and sorrows? Why don’t we think of the cross more often?

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