The Garden of Gethsemane
Gethsemane- the olive grove just outside Jerusalem where Jesus was before His betrayal and leading to the cross.
Have you ever wondered how Jesus could live His entire life knowing that He would have to die and still live purposefully. I have. That phrase “live like you were dying,” takes on a whole new meaning when you know how and when you will die. He knew all along that He was the sacrificial lamb being led to the slaughter. He knew He would be betrayed and denied. However in the garden He came to terms with it, the crucifixion. It was there He sweated drops of blood, His heart crying out “Father please take this cup from me, nevertheless your will be done.” Jesus got something we fail to understand, complete adherence to God’s will, no matter how painful leads to glory. We often try to forfeit Gethsemane and the cross. We try to get past our will being nailed to a cross and go straight to sitting at the right hand of the Father. We want the glory, without the pain. Jesus knew the only way to live was in full submission to the Father. The result, our salvation, our atonement, and our reconciliation to God. Love hung on a cross and died, and rose with all of God’s Glory.
Where were His friends? The disciples? The people He had loved and served? Where was His community on the night before His death? They were sleeping. He asked them to pray and they were sleeping. Have you ever gone through a hard time, the worst time and ended up with God alone? Your friends were too busy, too tired, or just not able to be there. I have. It’s in those times we can see God in a way that we never have before, as our everything. Sometimes there is no person there to comfort, to encourage, to help, to pray. Sometimes you lay in a puddle of your own tears and all you can do is moan. That is when you hopefully recognize Who is and what is your source. I have had countless nights with Him in tears, in agony, in my own Gethsemane. I will not say it’s the same as Jesus. I have not had an actual cross to die on, but I have buried a parent, faced sickness/illness alone, mourned the death of relationships, and had my will crushed to live according to His will. I don’t enjoy this place, my own garden, but nevertheless, His will be done. I must die to self, so that He can be glorified.
Jesus not only faced this time alone, He walked to the cross willingly. He didn’t fight, demand His rights, or even retaliate. He was mocked, laughed at, denied by His close friend Peter, betrayed by His disciple Judas, and He still said “Father not my will, but your will be done.” Have you ever been betrayed, sold out, mocked, laughed at, denied, afflicted? Have you ever had the vision God gave you ridiculed due to lack of understanding from those around you? If so then Jesus knows your suffering. Even though they persecuted Him, He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” People may not understand your pursuit of what is holy. They may not support you, love you, help you, encourage you, stand up for you, or be there for you. They may mock you, laugh at you, spit on you, betray you, deny they even know you, but keep on going! Those closest to you may fall asleep during the times you need them the most, they may be the ones to betray you or deny you. This isn’t about them. This is about you and God. Forgive them and stay in the will of God.
You have a date with destiny. It isn’t about you, or them, it’s about the Glory of God being revealed in you. God has a plan for you, a date and time for you to be transformed, renewed and changed from the inside out! Don’t miss out on His Glory (the awesome splendor of God, His astounding beauty, His goodness). Please don’t forfeit Gethsemane for comfort, for the praise of people, for complacency. There is more in Him! Pick up your cross and follow Him. If you find yourself alone with God it is the best place you can be. If you find no friends, no comfort in this world, dig into God and dig deep. He is there and there is something glorious on the other side of the cross. It is not just to bless you, but the entire world through your obedience to Him.
You are in my thoughts and prayers! Most of all you are loved.