Gethsemane, a transliteration of Aramaic “Gat-Shemanim” which means ‘oil press’ or the crushing place. It is also the garden where the Agony of Jesus took place.
And they came to a country place called Gethsemani, and he said to his disciples, “Sit down here, while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and he began to feel dread and to be exceedingly troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is sad, even unto death. Wait here and watch….Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Prayer…Under Trial. Who do you turn to when you know that the enemy is at your door?
The night before Jesus was arrested, he and his disciples went into the garden of Gethsemane; across the Kidron Valley, an olive grove. John 18:2 mentions that Jesus often met there with his disciples. Jesus knew what would happen there. He was a young man of 33 and afraid of what awaited him. It is here in the garden of Gethsemane where he goes through a final spiritual struggle with God to understand his will. There are few historical events which affect Christians the way the garden of Gethsemane does.
Luke 22:39-40 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
I find it so striking that the first thing Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane was to pray. It’s in moments like these that you think about the most important person in your life. For Jesus, it was God. When he was absolutely terrified, his first thought was to pray to God. Jesus, being completely man, had the need to pray. He wanted to talk to his Father, pour out his heart to him. He wanted to tell his Father he was afraid. In that moment of anguish, he wanted to call on God.
The thought of his disciples’ weakness must have made the burden of that night even heavier for Jesus to bear. He would have known that the anger of the Sanhedrin would affect not only him, but his disciples too. That’s why, in the hour of his own need, Jesus thinks about his disciples’ spiritual strength and he asks them to pray for their own spiritual lives. The example of Jesus’ own prayer and his invitation to his disciples to pray for themselves, is also an invitation for us today: we must never hesitate to call on God. It must be the first thing we do every day, it must be the first thing we do when we’re afraid, and the first thing we do when we’re excited.
Let us look to Him as the time of Passover draws near. Let us spend more time as Mary did, at His feet. We can never be safer or stronger than when we are on our knees before Him. Bless His name, thank you Jesus, for all you provide to us. Bless us and guide us in this Passover- help us to see what needs to be cleaned out and sanctify us, Lord anoint us with your spirit again. Bring us renewing of spirit and a light that no one can put out!