Saturday, April 7, 2012

Visiting the Garden of Gethsemane

Tonight I got out my scrapbook from when we visited Israel in April of 2008. Today, a friend reminded me of the most memorable place we visited on that trip, The Garden of Gethsemane. A lot of the places we went to see could not be absolutely identified as the places they said they were. For example, no one really knows where Jesus was buried but there were 10 places where it is believed that He could have been buried. This is  not the case with Gethsemane. The place we visited as Gethsemane is absolutely the place Jesus stood during His final hours of agony. 

I believe visiting this place in Israel was so important and memorable to me for many reasons, the main reason is found in:

Hebrews 4:15

"For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning."

and the Garden of Gethsemane proves that this verse is true.

Jesus was enduring all different kinds of pain during His time at Gethsemane, the more I think about it, the more unbearable it all seems. 

Some of the agony Jesus was experiencing came from:

*Jesus disciples were not taking their duty to pray seriously or even comprehending the situation.
(See Matthew 26:36-44 below)

*Jesus knew most all of the people He loved were about to desert Him.
 "And the disciples forsook Him and fled" Mark 14:50 
Forsook (APHIEMI) in Greek
to depart from any one 
to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned 
to desert wrongfully 
to go away leaving something behind 
to leave one by not taking him as a companion 
to leave one dying, leave behind one 
to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining 
abandon, leave destitute

*One of Jesus' disciples, Judas, had just sold Jesus' life away. 

*Jesus knew He was about to bear the sins of the world in a horrible torturous death on a cross.

*AND while bearing our sin on that cross THIS happened:  
"Then about that time Jesus shouted, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"  which means, "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"
Matthew 27:46
Deserted (EGKATALEIPO) in Greek: 
abandon, desert
leave helpless
totally abandoned, utterly forsaken 
{I know scholars debate this verse but whether God literally did this or Jesus felt this way, 
the application still stands}

*Jesus was not speculating these things were happening or going to happen.....HE KNEW....and He cried out to God that if there was any other way but CONTINUED even so to submit to God's plans. 

Matthew 26:36-44
"Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane (meaning 'Oil Press'), and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, 
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?  Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”  When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again...

He endured: pain, suffering, loss, betrayal, shame, abuse, lack of sympathy, torture, helplessness, grief, abandonment, temptation, death.....

talk about a God who understands....

1 comment:

Amanda said...

LOVE this post!