Mark: According To
Jesus in the Garden
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here a while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
I cannot imagine or comprehend what it must have been like for Jesus as he left His three trusted disciples, then went on a little farther, fell upon the ground and began to pray. The word Gethsemane is an Aramaic word meaning “oil press” and it was to this spot that the Saviour had frequently resorted for meditation, prayer, and rest. It was here he had often spent the night. How fitting as the weight of all humanity was pressing down on Him that He would go to a place meaning oil press, for the weight of sin from the entire world was pressing down on him. It was here that Jesus prayed to His Father: 36 “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You, Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.”
The humanity of Christ struggled under the weight of sin, to the point that Jesus was tempted to not follow through with the plan of salvation. Yet as Jesus prayed to His Father that this burden, this weight of sin may be lifted from Him so that He would not have to experience this total separation from the Father.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they separated themselves from God and the death referred to in Genesis 2:17 is the death which means total and complete separation from God. In order for Christ’s atoning sacrifice to be accepted, he had to experience total separation from His Father in heaven. This total was more than the human side of Christ could bear, yet even when facing total separation from His Father, Christ prayed that God’s will be done, not his own. Christ loved those he had created and although facing death and separation, he asked for the cup to pass from Him, he was still willing to lay his desires down and allow God’s will to be done.
Jesus had brought the three disciples with him hoping that their praying would strengthen them and give encouragement to Himself. Yet instead of seeking strength from their heavenly Father, they fell asleep. Not once but twice they failed to be roused from their sleep.
Christ in that Garden paradise was three times tempted of Satan to not follow through and had Christ exercised his self-will, the plan of salvation would be over and result in failure with no hope for you and me. But Christ submitted His will to the Father and the Father gave him the strength necessary to endure the events which were about to take place.
41 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. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Each of us, when faced with trial and difficult should seek God through prayer. Our prayers when lifted up with the prayers of friends will bring comfort to the weary soul. None of us will face the same challenge as Jesus faced when he had the weight of this world resting upon Him, but each of us faces the trials and temptations that cause us to ask God for it to pass away. There are times when He will remove these burdens and trials. But there are times when for our own betterment, He allows them to continue so that we can grow in our trust of God and His care for us. These trials and temptation when we rely upon God will strengthen us for further temptations. The heat of temptation and trials will cause our imperfections to rise to the top, to be skimmed away by the silversmith until finally we reflect the image of the refiner, the Master Silversmith, who imparts to us His righteousness which was gained upon His death, burial and resurrection.