The Hidden Life Of Jesus

By Johnny Tatum








In Psalm 40, we have an account of what Jesus was thinking and praying at the Garden of Gethsemane.  How do we know that?  Psalm 40 is one of the many Psalms called Messianic Psalms (Psalms about the Messiah), and David wrote many of them.  So when you read these Psalms penned by David, you think This is David and he is describing his own experiences, but then you come to a verse that does not seem to apply to David anymore—What?!?


For example, in Psalm 22, David is talking about how his enemies have mistreated him:


A band of evildoers have encompasses me;


And then he says:


They pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16)


What does that mean?


David asked that same question, which is why we want to consider the following passage in 1 Peter 1:


As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you


Who are the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you?  They are the Old Testament prophets, including David.


made careful searches and inquiries,


What were they looking for?


seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Messiah within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Messiah and the glories to follow.


When David was writing his Psalms, he was conscious that Holy Spirit was directing Him.  Do you see that?  He says They were seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Messiah within them was indicating.


[David is writing this (Psalm 22) and Holy Spirit is prompting him:] Tell them about the time that your enemies encompassed you.


[So David writes:] And my enemies abandon me; evildoers have encompassed me.


[And Holy Spirit says:] Write, “They pierced my hands and my feet.”


[So David writes it.]


It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you,


Who is You?  The ungrammatical is: Us.


in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. (1 Peter 1:10-12)


[David asks:] What do you mean they pierced my hands and my feet?  I never got my hands and feet pierced.


[And Holy Spirit says:] This is not for you, David.  This is about the Messiah, and it is for those who will come later.


That is what we see in Psalm 40, which appears to be a Psalm of David and the things that happened to David; however, as we see in verse 7 [and with other clues in the passage], it is really not about David.  Let us see who it is:


When I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.” (Psalm 40:7)


The Old Testament points to the Messiah.



So we know that Psalm is really about Messiah Jesus, and upon a closer look at the Psalms, I think, we see that it is clearly Jesus’ thoughts at the Garden of Gethsemane.




1 I waited patiently for the LORD;


It was a long, agonizing wait while Jesus is praying for help and praying to be delivered from death at Gethsemane.


Notice: Jesus is not calling Him Father anymore.


God answered:


And He inclined to Me and heard My cry.


Jesus was weak and at the point of death when God rescued Him.


2 He brought Me up out of the pit of destruction,


Meaning out of death.


out of the miry clay, And He set My feet upon a rock making My footsteps firm.


3 He put a new song in My mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.


Here, Jesus is looking toward the Cross, and He is saying Thank You for putting this song in My mouth; and no matter what happens to Me at the Cross, I am going to keep testifying in You; and many will trust in the LORD.


By The Way:  Did that happen?  Yes.  For example, both the Roman centurion and the thief on the cross trusted in Jesus as their Savior.


4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,


Here, at the end of His life and at the end of the relationship with His Father and the way He knew Him, Jesus says I could have been King, but I made the right choice by trusting in You.


Remember: Jesus was brought up under the Law.  From the time Jesus was a baby—when His parents brought the birds to Jerusalem—through the times as an adult He went to Jerusalem, He saw the sheep lined up for sacrifice.  Apparently, these animals were sacrificed on a large rock that contained a drainage hole leading to the Kidron Valley that literally flowed with the blood of animals.  During Jesus’ life, He gradually understood the picture—which He saw with the blood of animals flowing down the Kidron Valley—was a picture of Him.  And here at Gethsemane that is to what He is referring:


And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.


5 Many, O LORD my God, Are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us;


This is an amazing passage, because Jesus is just now aware that our sins (all the sins of each individual who trust in Jesus as their Savior) are about to be dumped on Him (put on Him), but He does not resent it.  He says And Your thoughts toward us.  Even at this point, Jesus is still identifying Himself with us!


Again, Jesus was brought up under the Law and He saw the sacrifices constantly.  That is why, in verse 6, He says something rather remarkable:


6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;


Yes, God did desire that; in fact, He required sacrifices and offerings.


My ears You have opened;


What does He mean by that?


Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.


How were people under the Old Covenant—under the Law—redeemed (saved)?  People under the Old Covenant were saved by trusting in the coming Messiah [Jesus]; they just did not know His name.  In the Old Testament, regardless of the Law, somebody who did not bring any sacrifices or who did not do any of the offerings—the burnt offering – the sin offering – the grain offering – the waive offering—but who trusted in the Messiah was saved.


For example, Job was saved.  How do we know that?  In Job 19:


As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives. And in the last He will take His stand on the earth.  Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25)


Why was Job redeemed?  Because he knew that his Redeemer lived and that in the last He will stand upon the earth.  Who was Job talking about?  The Redeemer, Messiah—Jesus.


Here, at the end of His life, Jesus is talking to His Father and saying Father, I recognize that all of those animals I have seen all of those years were really just a picture of Me.  And that is why in verse 7 He says:


7 Then I said, “Behold I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of Me.”


Jesus has full knowledge now.  As presented throughout the Old Testament (the book), people were looking for the Redeemer who lives and who is to come: Messiah.  Starting with Adam and Eve, God said to Satan There is going to be a Descendant of Eve’s to come, and He is going to fight against you; you will bruise Him on the heal, but He will crush you on the head. (See Genesis 3:15.)


Also, throughout the centuries of the Old Testament, there were all the pictures of the animals.  Jesus has full knowledge You really were not looking for sacrificed animals; You were looking for a Person, and that Person is Me.  And now, His body—there in Gethsemane, crouched in agony—is the Ultimate Body.



The reason that God the Father granted Jesus this full knowledge right at the end is that Jesus is going to make a choice about whether He will take on our sins, or not.  Jesus had the choice. It seems to me that before God would put all of our sins on a totally righteous, innocent Person, He would have to have that Person’s permission, or it would have been unjust.  Correct?  In fact, when the soldiers came for Jesus at Gethsemane, He said:


“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)


Question: What would have happened if Jesus had decided not to take on our sins and if He would have appealed to His Father?


Let Us Think About This: Whether Israel accepted Him or not, Jesus came to die for the sins of His people.  How would that have worked?  Really, we are all operating under Plan B anyway; Plan A was that the nation of Israel would accept Him.


However, there is still a problem, because Messiah was to reign forever, and Jesus has a mortal body.  How would that have worked out?




That tells me that if the nation of Israel had accepted Jesus as the King at His Triumphal Entry, then God the Father would have glorified His body right then.


So Jesus could have rejected this imposition of our sin on Him.  He is fully equal to the Father, so if He had rejected our sins to be put on Him, then God would have worked it out.  Furthermore, if the nation of Israel had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, as the King—Plan A—then God would have worked something out.



At the end, Jesus has a choice, and that is why He says:


8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”


Jesus is saying that the Law, including the sacrifices—the substitutionary system (the worshipper would bring in a lamb, place his hands on the lamb, and his sins would be symbolically transferred to that lamb, so that when the lamb was killed, his sins were killed too in a picture format)—is within My heart, which means:


My desire to be the Ultimate Lamb, to be the Substitute for all sinners, is within My heart.


In verses 9 and 10, Jesus is looking back over His life:


9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know.


10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.


And in verse 11, Jesus expresses confidence even though He knows that He is going to die:


11 You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.


I look at Gethsemane as the time when Jesus, the Son, is saying Goodbye to His Father.


When I Was Growing Up: I used to hear God the Father gave up His Son – He turned Him over – He lost Him, and it really used to puzzle me.  I never asked about it, because I did not want to sound irreverent Did God the Father really give up His Son? –or- Was it just for the weekend?  The Scriptures clearly say that God the Father gave up His Son – He lost His Son.  So then, you think Jesus died and then the Father got Him back three days later.  No, He did not.


The Bible makes it clear that God the Father lost His Son.  The second Person of the Godhead (the Eternal Word) never stopped functioning; however, what happened to that Human Being, Jesus, who had full fellowship with His Father, who was sinless, and who God the Father delighted in as His only begotten Son?  He is gone.  God the Father lost Someone; God the Father does not have that Person around anymore.  The relationship is gone, is changed, because of our sin.  And here at Gethsemane, Jesus is looking back on His life—how sweet the fellowship has been—because He knows it is ending.


Then something happens—clearly, there is a break in action:


12 Now evils beyond number have surrounded me;


What are we seeing here?  We are looking in on the very moment when our sins start to come on Jesus.


Then He says:


My iniquities have overtaken me,


The word My is where I want to stop for a moment.  In the English language, a possessive pronoun—what My is—is used to mean two different things, but a distinction is not made between the two (both are said the same way).  In the Greek language, there are two different ways to say My.  The Greek word Jesus uses here for My iniquities have overtaken me means iniquities that did not originate with Him but are now associated with Him.


Did You See?  Jesus does not mind claiming our sins!  This always amazes me: He says My iniquities have overtaken Me.  Do you know what Jesus is talking about?  He is talking about our sin, but He calls them Mine.  Jesus considers the sin problem, not as our problem, but His.


I love it when the author of Hebrews says:


He is not ashamed to call them His brethren. (Hebrews 2:11)


Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brother; He identifies with us so fully that our sin became His.


Application: I think if we ever fully understood how much Jesus identified with us, our lives would be totally different.


And look, He says:


so that I am not able to see;


This was a Man who was righteous – holy – innocent (He never sinned), and now, our sin is dumped on Him.  [I think-] It affects His body so much that He, literally, cannot see for a while.  Jesus says He felt it.


They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, and my heart has failed me.


Our sins being placed on Jesus was:


  1. An accounting procedure—our sin was placed on His account (ledger).


  1. A legal procedure—our sins were placed on Him, He was declared guilty, and He paid the death penalty for it.


  1. A physical procedure—our sins were, literally, put on Him in a physical sense, and He was aware of it.


Here, Jesus is aware the sins were coming on Him—He felt it—and there were physical consequences to it.  [Before it happened, He never knew what having sin on Him felt like.]


And His response to our sins being put on Him:


13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.


[I think-] That is when Jesus prays Let this cup pass (Luke 22:42).


Speculation: Jesus had full knowledge here at the end, and He knows the sins are coming on Him; and then Jesus says Now evils beyond number have surrounded Me.  He can almost see them; in fact, I am wondering if Jesus could see them.  In John 13:


He loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1)


I am wondering if John is talking about more than just Jesus’ disciples, if he is talking about us (individuals who believe Jesus is their Savior).  I think that Jesus, at the Garden of Gethsemane, not only got our sins placed on Him, but also, He got a divine revelation of each one of us.  It would make sense that He would know for whom He was dying; to me, it does not make sense to say that Jesus loved the church in some unified sense, or that He loved the church in a global, impersonal sense.  I believe Jesus loved every single person in the church body, and I believe, at the end of His life, He had a divine revelation of each one of us.  If He loved us, then that means He loved us.  If He took our sin, He did not take the collective sins of the world; He took all of my sins, knowing they were my sins, and He took all of your sins, knowing they were your sins.


Question: How does it help us to know that Jesus was consciously aware that our sins were going on Him and He felt the force (physical impact) of our sins being placed upon Him? 


It frees us!  It is one thing for us to believe that our sins were placed on Him—if you believe that and trust in Him, then that is enough for salvation—but how much more benefit it is to us to see the moment when our sins were placed on Him, to see Jesus acknowledging My iniquities have overwhelmed Me; they are surrounding Me; I am over My head with all My sin.  How does this benefit us?  We know that our sins were really put on Him and that He fully agonized over our sins at Gethsemane; therefore, we do not have to agonize over our sins—ever!


Note: Jesus describes the sins coming on Him as if it is something from outside.  He takes responsibility for our sins, but He describes them, not as coming from within, but as coming from without For evils beyond number have surrounded Me.  They are more numerous than the hairs on My head.  That is how Jesus Christ and God the Father see our sin.





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