As Easter approaches, I am daily being reminded of the agony Jesus experienced in a garden.
Jesus and his disciples frequently went to a garden named Gethsemane, located on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem.
This garden was more like an orchard filled with olive trees. The name Gethsemane means “oil press” in Hebrew.
The night before Jesus was crucified, He took His disciples to this garden to pray. (John 18:1)
Jesus knew the depths of what He would face and asked God to “Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36)
God answered this prayer by sending an angel to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43)
Even with the strength given Him by the angel, His agony and prayer became more earnest, and “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) As Jesus was praying and sweating “blood” His disciples were sleeping. What a lonely night of prayer this must have been for our Savior.
Judas, the betrayer, found Jesus in the garden, because he had been there many times with Him. (John 18:2)
Jesus was “bound” and taken from the garden; His retreat from the world.
On the cross, the following day, Jesus spoke the saddest words that I could ever imagine. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34)
God is so Holy, He cannot look on sin. Jesus took the sin for everyone onto Himself, and God had to turn away. Jesus died alone and forsaken even by God. Because Jesus chose to do the Will of the Father, He opened the door for us to have a relationship with God, and once that relationship is established, we are promised that He will never forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
Jesus was betrayed in a garden, and forsaken by God. Through Him, the curse that started in a garden was broken for us, if we choose to accept the gift of His death on the cross.
I pray this week that if you haven’t accepted the cure for the curse, you will be led to the garden.
Have a great Easter!