Personal photos taken in Jerusalem of March 2017.
Top photo: Current Day-Garden.
Below photo: from a Historical Museum picture of a heel-bone from a Crucifixion.
As Jesus began his most personal and profound prayer, knowing of the betrayal and agony set before Him as an intense physical, emotional and spiritual battle was at hand, He prayed. He prayed inviting others to join him.
Matthew 26:36-46 Amplified
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”
And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”
As I read the above verses from a distance, my heart is all in and for my Jesus. I find myself pressing my ear to this passage listening to the pleas He repeatedly makes to both His Father and disciples. I’m listening to learn lessons and instructions, in prayer, as He is leading His disciples to follow; for us to follow. I feel as I am there in the garden, a disciple, near to Him watching Him pray, desiring to ease His pleas and ask, “Lord, teach me to join You in prayer.”
- We know Jesus prayed: constantly– day, night, alone, with others, before working miracles. We read here He kept returning three-times to pray. His prayer was not repetitious, but continual.
- It seems that the Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite private place to prayer because John 18:2 says, “Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”
- Jesus prayed out of a deep and honoring love relationship calling God “Father.” We are commanded to do the same in Matt 6:9.
- Prayer is not always smooth, as it requires focus especially when experiencing intense emotions, physical pain, and spiritual warfare. It requires more from us when we seemingly are at our weakest. When we come before Him, with humility, at the foot of the cross, we can ask for strength to aid us, in the will of the Lord.
- Verse 41, Jesus address’ the disciples: Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Jesus knew the power of temptation: He shares of His own distress and grieved soul.
Actively = deliberate, positive, energetic, vigorous way.
Watching = give strict attention to, be cautions, active.
Praying = to offer prayers, to pray.
Pray, dear one, pray to your Father…..
Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.
When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself – a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,…and throws himself into the arms of God…then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.
Jesus defeated satan in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary!
This is the centre of the gospel – this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about – that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near.
How difficult it appears to be for the Church to understand that the whole scheme of redemption depends upon men of prayers The work of our Lord, while here on the earth, as well of the Apostle Paul was, by teaching and example, to develop men of prayer, to whom the future of the Church should be committed. How strange that instead of learning this simple and all important lesson, the modern Church has largely overlooked it. We have need to turn afresh to that wondrous Leader of spiritual Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, who by example and precept enjoins us to prayer and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who by virtue of his praying habits and prayer lessons is a model and an example to God’s people in every age and clime.
Deborah 4-Unfolded Hearts Ministry