The next meditation is special for me as several years ago I was able to visit the Garden of Gethsemane. There is an olive tree there purported to be 2,000 years old. In The Church of All Nations there is a rock that is traditionally believed to be where Jesus prayed. In any case, the site IS The Garden where Jesus was.
Two gardens are important in the salvation story. The first is the Garden of Eden where Satan was told one day he would bruise the heel and his head would be crushed. Thousands of years later Jesus, who would crush the head of Satan, was praying in another garden… The Garden of Gethsemane. What was prophesied in the first Garden was set into motion in the second garden.
In this second garden Jesus prayed for over an hour. He prayed three times because His soul was deeply troubled. In his struggle he asked his friends to pray with and for him. Yet they failed by falling asleep… twice. It wasn’t that the Apostles didn’t care, they were tired. Then Jesus said to them, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” And thus began the road Jesus would have to walk… alone… to redeem all who would believe. This is the first of many times Christ would be abandoned… eventually… by everyone.
Do you know what it is like to need help… want and ask for help… only to be let down by your best and closest friends? Do you know what it is like for people to tell you they will stick with you but when the time comes they keep their mouth shut… or worse… side against you?
In the next 24 hours Jesus would be betrayed, abandoned, cursed, beaten, whipped, and crucified. But all those things would be a cake walk compared to what troubled his soul to the point of death. There was coming on Jesus a three hour eternity that he feared more than all the physical suffering he would endure… for you (But that is for a later post, God willing).