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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

In the Garden of Gethsemane

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
(Luke 22:42-44 NIV)

After the Last Supper, the group headed across the valley to the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus got alone with the Father to pray. He knew what was in store for him. He knew what kind of pain he would be facing. He asked to not have to go through it, but He also knew this was how redemption would take place. He was the Passover Lamb.

Though it would be awful, Jesus bowed to the will of the Father. He willingly accepted the task at hand. Jesus was so full of anguish that his sweat was drops of blood. He was experiencing the weight of the sin that would be laid upon him. It was no accident that the Garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Olives were, and still are, a valuable crop produced in that part of the world. The making of olive oil is a difficult process. The olives have to be pressed under enormous weight to produce the oil. Gethsemane actually means olive press. It is only under great pressure that the olive press can produce the oil. Jesus was also under great pressure as he assumed his role.

Jesus also knew the joy that redemption would bring. The promise of bringing those who believe into eternity with him was worth the suffering he was about to face.

As Jesus rose from prayer, he returned to his disciples to find them sleeping. While encouraging them to pray so that they would not fall into temptation, those who came to arrest him arrived. Jesus did not fight. He did not run. He willingly gave himself over to his accusers. For you. For me.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

Julie Smith

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