Sunday, April, 13, 2014 | 4:06 PM | by June
Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” – Matthew 26:36
The name Gethsemane means “olive oil press.” Evidently the garden on the slope of the Mount of Olives was a place where they brought olives to be squeezed so that the oil could be sold. There was a ready market in the temple on the opposite side of the Kidron Valley.
This garden wasn’t an unfamiliar place to Jesus and his disciples. Luke tells us that each evening during the final week of His life Jesus “went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives” - Luke 22:39. This routine continued on Maundy Thursday as Jesus’ disciples followed Him. Thus -“Judas, who betrayed Him, knew the place because Jesus had often met there with His disciples.” - John 18:2.
I often think how different this holy happening was for Peter, James, and John as compared to the beautiful sight at the display of Jesus’ divine glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Now they were going to see Jesus in the depths of humiliation.
The anticipation of a painful ordeal is often more agonizing than the ordeal itself. That is one reason we are better off not knowing exactly what the future holds. But Jesus knew what He would have to endure in the hours ahead. He was face-to-face with death and this agony of anticipating death was so much greater for Jesus, not only because He was no ordinary man but also because His was no ordinary death. We experience the natural consequences of our own sins when we die. But Jesus’ death was the unnatural consequence of the sins of others. The burden of the sins of all people, and that includes you and me, was upon His shoulders. Just think of the terror that a guilty consequence can bring upon one sinner who is face-to-face with death. Then consider the fact that Jesus had voluntarily taken the guilt of the whole world upon himself. It is no wonder that He said to Peter, James, and John, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” We cannot begin to comprehend His anguish. We can only thank Him for what endured for us.
Jesus never ceased to desire the redemption of the world with all His heart. Even as His bloody sweat dropped to the ground, He was willing to endure all the agony and loneliness if there was no other way to do it. Never for a moment did He feel that the price He was paying was too great for sinners like you and me. Never for a moment!
Aren’t you glad!
Paraphrased from The People’s Commentary