The Garden

 

I hope you have had a wonderful week, readers!  We sure have!  Since you heard from me last, we have welcomed another niece!  My sister and her husband have a new addition: baby Lexi.  We couldn’t be more thrilled for them… she is so beautiful I can’t wait to get some more baby snuggles in this afternoon ❤  I love watching my sons with her, they love their new cousin already.  It’s a very special way to gear up for Passover weekend – a new life.

Yesterday was good Friday.  The day that Christians all over the world remember the price that Jesus paid for us on the cross.  That’s a neat thought, isn’t it?  Celebrating and remembering at the same time all over the world.

I love the Garden of Gethsemane.   In my early twenties I went to Israel, and the Garden was one of my favourite places we visited.  Before going I was volunteering at the church I was to be traveling with, and they asked me to do up a booklet researching each major location that we were to be visiting.

As I read about Jesus asking the Father to take this cup from Him – to change the already destined series of events leading up to and including the cross – as He struggled knowing to what degree His torture and suffering would be…

And His own disciples couldn’t stay awake long enough to pray for Him.  They didn’t get it.  If they could have seen into the next day, would they have slept?  Or would they have stayed awake and prayed like Jesus needed them to?

Mark 14:32-42 NKJV
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.  And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.  And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

the_garden_on_passover

Can you picture it?  Olive Trees, a beautiful garden.  The Mount of Olives.  Where Jesus sweat blood.  Where He met with the Father, asked that He might not have to bear this burden, but yet submitted His own will knowing for our sakes He must endure the cross.  Father, Son & Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity.  Jesus was and is all knowing, He has seen into your tomorrow, and He saw that day into His tomorrow.

Luke 22:41-44 NKJV
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Moments later Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple, Judas, and given over to His accusers.

I’m a woman – and women always want to know what you’re feeling right?  When my kids are sad, I want to know what they’re feeling and what is going on in their heart.  And don’t forget the husband. 😉

Can you imagine what Jesus was going through?  What He was feeling?  The fight that was going on in Him?  His love for us warring with the unthinkable brutality Jesus knew would soon be upon Him.  The dread.  The turmoil.

Jesus didn’t go to the cross blind.  He knew exactly what to expect.  And He did that for you.  And for me.

Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV
He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

When I stood at the location they thought to be near where Jesus met with the Father day before His crucifixion – the Garden of Gethsemane – I could almost see Him there, struggling.  I will never forget knowing I was standing near where Jesus poured His heart out to the Father, prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”  Mark 14 says that Jesus was troubled and deeply distressed.  But He did it anyway.  For us.

What do you need to give to God?  Is there something He has asked you to do or not do that you have ignored or have asked Him to get you out of?  Maybe you also need to say, “Not what I will, but what You will”.

So this weekend as we have time with family, let’s make sure we honour the Lord and keep this weekend holy.  We walk out our salvation everyday, and it’s because of what Jesus did on a certain Passover weekend more than two thousand years ago.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful Passover weekend.  I’m off to to celebrate soon with my family… and a very sweet baby Lexi!

Shalom.

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