April 05, 2012

Your Own Personal Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36
"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder."

The word Gethsemane is Greek in orgin; in Hebrew, gat shemanim. It's an ancient oil press; that's the meaning of the name. And a garden bears its name. You could even say that the milling stone that was used to press the oil out of the olives was the Gethsemane Stone. The garden was located on the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. It is here that Jesus prayed on the night before His death.

In the Garden, Jesus struggled, knowing His impending crucifixion meant separation from His Father. At no other time in the Gospels do we see the Son of God more brokenhearted than in these last few hours of freedom before He is seized by the Temple guards. In fact, Christ was at the point of physical exhaustion in the Garden of Gethsemane. He cried out until His sweat became like drops of blood in the agony at Gethsemane.

Try to imagine the great, immense pressure on the Christ. The weight of the world's sins would soon be consummated at Calvary. And the worst part of Calvary (ie, Golgotha) is that Jesus knew what would happen there; He'd be separated from God.

In anguish, Jesus would cry out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). As the full weight of humanity’s sin fell upon Christ, the Father withdrew His presence, since He does not remain in the presence of sin. Jesus had never known a moment of separation from the Father, until that very moment when Jesus took on our sin. That rejection was agony for Jesus.

Jesus was willing to be forsaken by God in order that we could be accepted by Him. Talk about the Passion! Who else could loves us to the point separation from the Father and dying a horrific death? No one but the Son of God!

But in Gethsemane, the Son did not plead for release from the pain; instead, He prayed three times that the Father’s will be done.

Have you ever prayed with a brokenness for His will to be done in your life? Giving up your desires and willful ways brings turmoil and pressure to resist because the flesh is at war with the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). But, whatever besetting sin is causing a break in your walk with Christ, take it to Him in prayer.

If we follow Jesus’ example and release ourselves to God’s will, then inner turmoil is calmed by a sense of peaceful contentment. External circumstances may be unchanged, they may even worsen, but in our inward Gethsemane, we have a peace that surpasses all understanding because a loving Father gives it to us (Phil 4:7).

Jesus promised in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Jesus left the garden a prisoner, but at the same time He walked out triumpant because He had submitted to His Father's will.

What about you, Reader? Have you experienced you own personal Gethsemane lately?

I'd like to know more about Jesus: The Plan of Salvation

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

1 comment:

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