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.
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 for Jesus to save us. So, as we talked about last week, He endured the suffering of flogging, scourging, humiliation, and crucifixion.
But there was another suffering that Jesus went through that night — the suffering of loneliness. Jesus went to the cross alone. No one else could go with Him. He was the Son of God. He was the only one in the universe who could bear all of our sins. He was the Paschal Lamb that Passover season, and the lamb had to be without blemish. He was the Paschal Lamb being slain from the foundation of the world for our sins. He alone had, in His body and His soul, the capacity to bear our sins.
You see, we had sinned against God. We had rebelled against God, and we deserve death, judgment, and hell. But Jesus said, “I will take the judgment, I will take the hell, and I will take the suffering.” He went to that cross alone because only He could be offered as a sacrifice that would be pleasing to God and would reconcile God and man together. So He endured it alone.
Judas was betraying Him for thirty pieces of silver. But you also have betrayed Him today. The lie you told betrayed Jesus, the lustful thoughts that you have, the immoral deed that you did, the cheating that you did in business. How many times we have betrayed Him! We were a part of that betrayal and are just as guilty as Judas. And we will go to the same place that Judas went unless we repent of our sins and come to Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive us.
Jesus died alone. The disciples forsook Him, and Peter denied Him. There He is, alone and hanging on the cross for our sins. There are many types of loneliness. There is the loneliness of solitude. The explorer Admiral Richard Byrd wrote about how he spent five months in the loneliness and darkness of the South Pole. The Olympian and World War II soldier Louis Zamperini spent thirty-five days alone on a life raft in loneliness, not knowing at any moment when he might be pulled down by a shark or when a Japanese plane would come and machine-gun him. Loneliness.
There is also the loneliness of society. You can be among people and around people and still feel alone because you know no one and no one knows you. You have no one to love and care for and no one to love and care for you. You never receive a letter. You never hear a word of encouragement. You never know the handclasp of a friend. There are wealthy leaders in our society whose money has bought everything but happiness and joy. Or there is the country girl in New York or Los Angeles who is seeking fame and fortune in the big city and has been disillusioned and disappointed, and now she is lonely. Even in a crowd, there is loneliness, and some of you living in the midst of a big city are very lonely. There is an emptiness in your heart.
I want to tell you something. You give your life to Christ tonight and He can become your friend, even closer than a brother. He can be with you in your loneliness because He took the ultimate loneliness on Himself when He suffered on the cross. A lady who gave her life to Christ some time ago said, “I’ve been crippled for five years with arthritis, and I have suffered. What a terrible suffering I have had.” Then she added, “I have spent many a day alone, but never a lonely day.” Give your life to Christ, and you need never have a lonely day. Jesus knows what it means to suffer, and in His suffering He understands your suffering. He can come and put His hand on your shoulder and comfort you, and be there by your side during those lonely hours of suffering. Most importantly, He can save you from eternal suffering.
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 [email protected] 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.