Night With Ebon Pinion

TEXTLuke 22:44

INTRODUCTION:

A.      REMINDS US OF THE GREAT AGONY OF CHRIST IN THE GARDEN FOR US.

B.      DIRGE-LIKE MELODY AND TEMPO SUPPLEMENTS WELL CHOSEN WORDS.

C.      BACKGROUND:

          1.       The text was written by Love H. Jameson (1811-1892).  It was first published in

                   1854, but the circumstances of its origin are unknown.  Jameson also authored the

                   well-known hymn-text "There Is A Habitation."

          2.       The tune was composed by Joseph P. Powell, who was born in 1832 in Oregon,

                   into a well-known Oregon family.  He was identified with Christian Churches,

                   teaching vocal music after 1855 and also working with the Fillmore Brothers Music

                   House of Cincinnati.  Powell was active throughout his life in the work of compiling

                   and editing songs for songbooks for the Christians Churches and Churches of Christ.

                   Powell was described as "a very useful man to the brotherhood, humble,

                   sweet-spirited, and true."  He died in 1926. 

          3.       The date and circumstances of the tune's composition are also unkown.  It may

                   have been produced around 1871 because it was first published in the "New Harp of

                   Zion," at about that time.

D.      LET’S LOOK AT THIS SONG VERSE BY VERSE.

I.      MAN OF SORROWS.

"Night, with ebon pinion, Brooded o'er the vale;

All around was silent, Save the night-wind's wail,

When Christ, the Man of Sorrows, In tears and sweat as blood,

Prostrate in the garden, Raised His voice to God."

A.      THE DARK FOREBODING ATMOSPHERE OF THAT NIGHT IN THE GARDEN.

          1.       "Ebon" means black.  "Pinion" means wing feathers or wing.  Thus, night is

                   figuratively pictured as a bird with a very black wing that broods over the earth.

          2.       “All around was silent” – middle of the night, after the supper (Matt. 26:30, 36).

                             Save the night-wind's wail” – Poetic license for a rhyme.

B.      CHRIST, THE MAN OF SORROWS.

          1.       From Isa. 53:1-3.

                   a.  Acquainted with grief (vs. 3).

                   b.  His suffering for our grief (vs. 4ff. )

          2.       “In tears and sweat as blood” – The suffering was real and intense

                   (Luke 22:44;  Mark 14:33-34).

          3.       Jesus “Raised His voice to God."

                   a.  Jesus was given to prayer – he prayed all the time.

                   b.  He encourages us (Matt. 7:7-11;  Luke 18:1;  James 5:13).

II.     WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS.

"Smitten for offenses Which were not His own,

He, for our transgressions, Had to weep alone;

No friend with words to comfort, Nor hand to help was there,

When the Meek and Lowly Humbly bowed in prayer."

A.      THE NEW TESTAMENT MAKES HIS DEATH FOR US ITS CENTRAL MESSAGE.

          1.       Peter (1:18-19;  2:24;  3:18).

          2.       Paul (Rom. 3:23-26;  1 Cor. 5:14-15).

          3.       Hebrews 9:28.

B.      HE HAD TO WEEP ALONE.

          1.       God sent angels to give him strength (Luke 22:43).

          2.       Jesus desired his disciples to watch with him (Matt. 26:37-38).

          3.       But they slept (vs. 40-41, 43, 45).

III.    LET THY WILL BE DONE

"'Abba, Father, Father, If indeed it may,

Let this cup of anguish Pass from Me, I pray;

Yet, if it must be suffered by Me, Thine only Son,

Abba, Father, Father, Let Thy will be done."

A.      Abba, FatherMark. 14.36.  "Abba," an Aramaic word for "father," especially used as a

          term of endearment by a small child (Gal. 4.6).

B.      LET THIS CUP …

          1.       The cup of his suffering and death.

                   a.  Matt. 26:39. … if it be possible …

                   b.  Mark 14:36.  … all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup …

                   c.  Luke 22:42. … if thou be willing …

          2.       Was Jesus asking God to “scrap the plan?”  Nobody believes this.

                   a.  An expression of his anguish.

                   b.  Jesus “volunteered” (John 10:17-18).

                   c.  His love was as much in it as God’s (John 15:13).

          3.       In the same breath,  Let Thy will be done.

                       TOTAL SUBMISSION (John 6:38Phil. 2:5-8).

CONCLUSION:

A.      WE OFTEN SING THIS SONG BEFORE THE LORD’S SUPPER.

B.      THE DARKNESS OF THAT NIGHT WAS NOT ONLY THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT.

C.      THERE WAS THE DARKNESS OF SIN WHICH WAS TAKEN AWAY BY JESUS’

          DEATH FOR US.