Garden of Gethsemane

As I have been reading Mark 14 this week, I am overwhelmed at the number of events that are contained in this chapter!  There is so much to glean from these 72 verses.  But, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the most important lesson is that it points us to Jesus, who He is and what He did for us as a human.

I encourage you to read this chapter and see what God has to show you concerning all the events in Mark 14:

  1.  The woman that anoints Jesus with oil
  2. How Judas agrees to betray Jesus
  3. Jesus and the Disciples share the Last Supper
  4. How Jesus agonizes in the Garden
  5. Jesus is betrayed and arrested
  6. Jesus is questioned by Caiaphus
  7. Peter denies knowing Jesus

I want to focus on Jesus and what He faced in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Mark 14:32-36                                                                                     32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  34“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,:  he said to them.  “Stay here and keep watch.”  35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.  36“Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus faced his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The meaning of this garden is actually “oil press”.  In this garden, Jesus can actually feel what it is going to be like when the weight of the sins of his people literally crush or press him and take his life.  

He asks God to “take this cup from me” in verse 36.  What is the
“cup”?  It is helpful to look back at the Old Testament to see what the “cup” stands for.  In Psalm 23:4 and 116:13 we see that a cup can be filled with blessing and salvation.  Or as in Isaiah 51:17 and Ezekiel 23:33, the cup can be filled with wrath and horror.  Many Old Testament passages use the metaphor of the cup as a reference to God’s fierce judgment.  

So, when Jesus prays, “take this cup from me”, he is referring to the references above.  He knew that when He went to the cross he would drink the cup of god’s wrath.  He would have to bear all divine judgment.  In the process of drinking the cup, he would suffer horribly, both in the physical realm and especially in the spiritual realm as he is separated from His Father.

In Jesus’ prayer in the Garden, we see that he is a genuine human being, one who is fully human as well fully divine.  I can take away from this passage that Jesus is more like me that I realize.  He is not some superhuman figure that goes to the cross without a second thought or tiny hesitation.  Jesus shows us his gut-wrenching honesty of what he is about to face.

Jesus modeled true openness with his Father as he prayed in the Garden.  He was beyond troubled.  Let this be a model for us, as we know we will face trouble in this world.

John 16:33 states, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

We may speak openly to Jesus just as He did with the Father.  With every trouble we face, be it big or little, we need to make sure we take it to Jesus.  Jesus knew what was coming up for him.  He was overwhelmed with what was set before him.  He shows us 3 things that he did in these verses, we need to do the same when we face troubles:

1-Pray to God (14:35)

2-Seek support of friends and loved ones (14:33,37,40,41)

3-Focus on the purpose god has given us (14:36)

Jesus faced the ultimate suffering for us so that we could live eternally with Him.  Let us take each and every trouble to Him and lay it at His feet.  I am sure relieved that there are two more chapters in the book of Mark and it ends in VICTORY!!!