Gethsemane: This is a place just east of the temple mount area in Jerusalem, across the ravine of the Brook Kidron, and on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives. Surrounded by ancient olive trees, Gethsemane means “olive press” – it was a place where olives from the neighbourhood were crushed for their oil. So too, the Son of God would be crushed here.
Mat 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
Mat 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Mat 26:40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Mat 26:42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
Luk 22:42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Luk 22:43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death:
Jesus was distressed at the spiritual horror that awaited Him on the cross. Jesus stood in the place of guilty sinners and received all the spiritual punishment sinners deserve; He who knew no sin would be sin for us (2Co_5:21).
Heb 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
His holy soul shrank from the awfulness of being made sin upon the tree. It was not death, but the divine anger against sin, the imputation to Him of all our iniquities that filled His soul with horror. There was no conflict of wills.
Abba, Father: In this moment of deep distress, Jesus didn’t feel far from God the Father. He felt so close to the Father that He used the name Abba, a child’s familiar name for “daddy.”
If it were possible: Jesus wasn’t asking for permission to let humanity perish in hell; He was asking the Father, “If there is any other possible way to save humanity other than the agony which awaits Me at the cross – let it be.” Yet there was no other way, so Jesus went to the cross.
Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God, who was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father’s fury, so we would not have to drink from that cup – this was the source of Jesus’ agony.
He drank the cup at Calvary, but He decided once for all to drink it at Gethsemane. The struggle of the cross was won at the Garden of Gethsemane.
This struggle at Gethsemane – the place of crushing – has an important place in fulfilling God’s plan of redemption. If Jesus failed here, He would have failed at the cross. His success here made the victory at the cross possible.
Could you not watch with Me one hour? Jesus valued and desired the help of His friends in this battle. But even without their help, He endured in prayer until the battle was won.
Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him: In response to Jesus’ prayers, the Father did not take the cup from Jesus; but He strengthened Jesus to be able to take – and drink – the cup.
Consider the fact that Jesus, who was God, was omniscient. He was all-knowing. Therefore, He was fully aware of the horrors of the crucifixion that awaited Him. He knew His disciples would abandon him. He knew Judas Iscariot would betray Him. He knew that Simon Peter would deny Him. He knew they would rip His back open, press a crown of thorns into His head, beat Him, spit in His face, and crucify Him. Worst of all, He knew that all the sins of the world would be placed upon Him.
Maybe you are at a crisis point in your life right now, a personal Gethsemane.
You have your will; you know what you want. Yet you can sense that God’s will is different. Would you let the Lord choose for you? Would you be willing to say, “Lord, I am submitting my will to Yours. Not my will, but yours be done?”
In our moments of uncertainty, in those times when we think that everyone has let us down, remember that Jesus has been there and is there for us. God’s plans for you are so much better than the plans you have for yourself. Will you let Him choose?
Each of us must ask ourselves one important question when we face a crossroad in life: Will the path we choose be a path that will fulfill God’s plan for our lives? Or will it simply be a path that follows our own reasoning for what we want out of life.
When you choose to obey the will of God for your life, you put yourself in a position to hear and to receive God’s guidance for the course and direction of your life. Obedience to God will keep you calm in the midst of chaos and will bring you through to victory in the face of defeat. But true obedience must be more than just a one-time action; obedience must be a lifestyle.
In true obedience, the element of humility is always present. I don’t mean the false humility people “put on” in order to influence what others might think of them. I mean humility that is from the heart. Genuine humility is the result of true obedience, and humility keeps your heart tender and pliable before God so that you are always willing to say, “Lord, not my will, but Thy will be done.”
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him