After sharing the Passover meal, Jesus and His disciples walked the dusty roads of Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, talking as they went — Jesus trying to prepare them for what was ahead.
They came to the Brook Kidron, hoisted their robes high above their ankles and crossed over to the Garden of Gethsemane — the garden of the olive press. Olive trees filled the orchard, their gnarled limbs weaving webs of grace and beauty.
It was a favorite place for Jesus to take His disciples.
The symbolism is great.
The olives had to be crushed to obtain their oil — the very oil that would light the lamps of the temple where worshipers gathered to know their God.
In God’s sovereign plan, Jesus had to be crushed through the brutality of crucifixion to release the Holy Spirit whose oil lights the Light of Christ within us.
But here, in the place of crushing, the very Son of God had a choice to make — could He/would He fulfill the plan of His Father so that the people could know the Lord their God in Spirit and Truth.
Could I? Could I come to my place of crushing and choose obedience to the Father’s will over my own fleshly desires? Would the dread of suffering win out? Would I choose easy over hard and thus miss God’s best?
Entering the garden, Jesus told His disciples to sit while He stepped away to pray. He became sorrowful and distressed — enough to fall to the ground crying out, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from Me! Nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done.”
Being in agony, Jesus prayed more earnestly.
The crushing choice to die to self intensified.
Beads of sweat popped out on His forehead from the struggle to obey His Father and then the crushing weight took over — His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground as His vessels caved under the pressure — precious blood spilling out even then for us.
In this moment of decision, He was crushed.
He chose the Father’s will over His own.
I believe the Lord leads us to our own Garden of Gethsemane, especially when our walk with Him is intimate and sure. He is there with us. He strengthens us by His grace as we agonize over our choices.
And He promises resurrection power as we learn to die to self.
There must be a crucifixion to have a resurrection.
There must be a crown of thorns before there can be a crown of glory.
In that moment of excruciating obedience, our lives are changed forever. Our faith deepens as our Father cups our face in His hands and breathes the breath of life in us anew.
Choosing to obey, no matter the cost, crowns Him Lord.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,